In-car app tells drivers when traffic lights will change

Written on 4 Sep 2015

A new app that gives drivers a traffic light countdown will be integrated into BMWs, the car maker announced recently.

In cities with an integrated network of smart traffic signals, the EnLighten app tells drivers how long they will be stopped at the lights and predicts when the light will turn green, with a countdown to when the signal will change. It then alerts drivers a few seconds before the light changes.

Based on the current vehicle position, as well as its speed, the app also offers a recommendation about whether to stop for a traffic light or proceed through. An audio alert notifies the driver if the signal they are approaching is about to change.

The app, by Connected Signals, is already available for iOS and Android smartphones but BMW will become the first car manufacturer to integrate the technology into its vehicles, showing traffic signal data on the in-car display. The app has been specially certified by BMW Group as safe for in-car use.

Integration of the app will work in any BMW equipped with the BMW Apps option, with EnLighten running on a connected Apple iPhone.

The new app is expected to make driving in cities easier and less stressful by helping drivers anticipate traffic signal changes. It also has the potential to save fuel, smooth out traffic flow and reduce the number of crashes caused by drivers racing to make it through a light, according to a report by CNBC.

At the moment the app is only supported in a few U.S. cities, but more cities will be added over time.

Quote u002D Simon Spooner

This is a great example of how the connected car can operate in a smart city environment to improve life in so many ways.”

Simon Spooner, Partner