Vodafone is launching a platform that uses data from connected vehicles and devices to improve the safety of European roads.
The new ‘Safer Transport for Europe Platform’ (STEP) is free and compatible with all in-vehicle navigation systems and third-party map apps.
By facilitating faster and more efficient information-sharing between road users, transport authorities, and each other, Vodafone believes it can greatly improve road safety.
Joakim Reiter, Chief External and Corporate Affairs Officer at Vodafone, said:
“Improving road safety is still a major challenge for Europe.
We believe that open platforms for faster, more efficient data sharing can play a significant role in helping prevent the unnecessary fatalities and injuries happening on our roads each year.”
Currently, data is often frustratingly siloed—limiting access to potentially lifesaving information.
Vodafone gives the example of transport authorities that are currently “often limited to delivering safety updates through road infrastructure – motorway gantries, variable-message or matrix signs and so on – or via a limited number of technologies developed by independent manufacturers.”
STEP aims to break down the barriers to address the problem of data fragmentation.
The platform is cloud-based and built on open industry standards. It will support participants including governments, transport authorities, vehicle manufacturers, mobility service providers, and other mobile network operators.
Vinod Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Business, commented:
“This scaled platform enables the delivery of vital safety information to all road users, no matter what app or system they rely on.
STEP encourages the collaboration needed between transport authorities, app developers, and the automotive industry to unlock the full value of data and connectivity in helping make Europe’s roads safer.”
Initially, STEP will facilitate the delivery of safety messages and targeted updates from road operators on lane closures, speed restrictions, and traffic incidents on the road ahead, across a variety in-vehicle systems and navigation apps.
Further down the line, Vodafone aims to expand STEP’s abilities for even more powerful applications like warning drivers of large vehicles to nearby vulnerable road users like cyclists or pedestrians that could be out of view. Other examples include stolen vehicle tracking, usage-based insurance, and fleet management.
Vodafone plans to launch STEP within its own Vodafone Automotive apps “later this year”.
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