Does it seem like that red light is never going to change? Do you ever catch yourself hitting the gas to try to make it through a green light only to slam on the brakes when it turns yellow?
Frustrated drivers will appreciate this then: An iPhone app called EnLighten predicts when the light will change. And now, BMW has announced the app, by Connected Signals, can be integrated with its displays.
"The Enlighten app makes driving in cities easier by helping the driver anticipate traffic signal changes, which can increase safety and help save fuel by avoiding unnecessary acceleration," reads a statement by BMW.
The app shows if the light is red or green above a countdown clock indicating how much time until the light changes. Based on the car's location and speed, the app can recommend whether the driver should prepare to stop or proceed through the intersection and notifies the driver – with an audio alert – if the light he or she is approaching is about to change. A chime also alerts the driver five seconds before a light is about to turn green.
The app works by tapping into a city's integrated network of smart traffic signals. It is currently only supported in a few cities in the United States and in Christchurch, N.Z. The EnLighten website indicates the service is being rolled out to more than a dozen cities in the United States, two in Australia and one more in New Zealand. There is no word whether it will be available for any Canadian cities in the near future.
The app can also recognize if your turn signal is on and let you know how much time there is to make it through an advanced green.
EnLighten will work in any car, but won't be integrated in the display. It can only be integrated in BMWs equipped with the BMW Apps option, and the app is only downloadable to iPhones.
"You must launch EnLighten on your phone and connect it to your BMW," according to Connected Signals. "Once you enable EnLighten in BMW Apps, the iPhone screen will show that it has successfully connected with BMW Apps by displaying the image."
Once the app is running on the car's display, it can't be used through the iPhone.
BMW notes the app is designed to improve safety at intersections and allow drivers to save fuel by not having to slam on the gas or brake pedals.
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