The BMW Group has announced it will be the first manufacturer to integrate the function of the EnLighten app into cars. The app, which is currently available for iOS devices, uses GPS and real-time traffic light status data to help drivers anticipate upcoming traffic signals.
The app itself is developed by Connected Signals with the aim of saving fuel and driver stress by avoiding the unnecessary acceleration caused by the attempt to catch a green light. All you’ll need is a BMW equipped with the BMW Apps option and an iPhone with the EnLighten app connected to the car.
The integration now allows drivers to view the current status of a traffic light ahead in real time as well as a countdown to when that status is to change based on location positioning information and calculation of the vehicle speed and traffic conditions.
Based on that information, the app will also offer a recommendation as to slow down for a traffic light or proceed. Should a light be about to change, an audio alert will be triggered to warn the driver to slow down.
Additionally, navigation information can also be plugged in. With the maps integration together with the enabling of the left or right turn signals, would allow the app to notify the driver of the traffic light for his or her specific turn at an intersection.
Of course, having the app and the car in and of itself won’t be enough for the system to work, as it requires EnLighten to have support for the city itself. Right now, among the cities within EnLighten’s umbrella is rather small, with only Portland and Eurgene in Oregon and Salt Lake City in Utah.
Just those three U.S cities already account for 2,000 traffic lights. EnLighten says they plan to expand the service to more cities soon, with international locations coming after that.