BMW EnLighten App Predicts Traffic Lights | Park Place BMW in Rochester, MN

Driving is the most convenient things we do every single day. However, getting from point A to point B quickly and comfortably (usually in a vehicle that is an extension of a driver’s personality) is usually laced with frustrations and minor inconveniences – other drivers, road construction and, when you’re in a big hurry, traffic lights.

Connected Signals, a technology startup based in Eugene, Oregon, has developed an app that helps you travel through traffic lights with ease. The EnLighten app gathers traffic light information in cities that link lights to a regional network.

BMW has taken this app a step further. In vehicles with the iDrive infotainment system, drivers can link their car to the app. EnLighten shows the status of the next traffic light and a countdown that shows when the light will change. The car will give an audio alert when approaching a traffic light that is about to change. BMW is the first auto manufacturer to integrate an app that provides traffic light information.

Every driver has been in that particularly stressful situation where you see the light ahead and calculate to the best of your ability whether you’ll make it or not. Do you punch it and run the risk of not making it through the intersection fast enough or do you start braking to prevent slamming on the brakes?

Possibly the most useful part of the app integration is that it does the thinking for you. The app analyzes the speed and position of the car to determine if you should speed up or slow down when nearing a light that is about to change.

The BMW version of the app also recognizes when a turn signal is on and will alert drivers if a light has a separate green arrow for left turns.

Right now, this technology is only available in select cities. However, it is expected to expand to more cities in the future. Supporters of the technology believe that the use of this app could smooth out traffic flow, help drivers save on fuel and reduce accidents caused by speeding through traffic lights.
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