Vodafone STEP

Vodafone is improving road safety in Europe with its new platform STEP.

  • ‘Safer Transport for Europe Platform’ to enable faster and more efficient safety information sharing with road users, using Vodafone technology
  • Compatible with all in-vehicle navigation systems and third-party map apps
  • Access to platform and safety information free for digitally connected road users

STEP from Vodafone is compatible with all third-party map apps and in-vehicle navigation systems, and it provides real-time traffic and safety information.

Vodafone has unveiled a new technology that allows public authorities to transmit timely safety and traffic information straight to smartphone mapping apps and in-vehicle navigation systems, helping to improve road safety.

Public authorities can deliver information about lane closures, speed restrictions, and traffic incidents directly to the devices that drivers already use and rely on via the Safer Transport for Europe Platform (STEP). STEP can convey information in as much detail as needed and at a considerably faster rate than slower, more constrained alternatives like roadside signage and motorway gantries.

STEP will be available in Vodafone Automotive apps later this year and is available for use by the developers of third-party apps. It builds on Vodafone’s successful trials of C-V2X technology in the West Midlands.

In the future, STEP might be used to track real-time road usage utilizing anonymized and aggregated vehicle position data, as well as notify large vehicle drivers of adjacent cyclists and pedestrians who aren’t always visible.

“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.”

Vinod Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone Business, said

(STEP) is a new platform that intends to solve the problem of data fragmentation and information silos, which limit the benefits of connectivity for road safety. Today, transportation authorities are typically constrained to giving safety updates via road infrastructure – motorway gantries, variable-message or matrix signs, and so on – or a small number of technologies produced by third parties, such as in-vehicle navigation systems.

STEP provides a solution to these problems. STEP, a cloud-based platform based on open industry standards, enables a diverse ecosystem of stakeholders — governments, transportation authorities, car manufacturers, mobility service providers, and other mobile network operators – to collaborate to improve road safety across Europe.

Vodafone-traffic
Vodafone Traffic. Image from Vodafone

“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.”

Joakim Reiter, Chief External and Corporate Affairs Officer, Vodafone said

STEP is designed to be compatible with all map apps and in-vehicle navigation systems developed by partner organizations, and users will benefit from free access to the platform and its safety features.

“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.”

Vinod Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone Business said

STEP will be able to offer safety warnings and tailored updates from road operators on lane closures, speed restrictions, and traffic events on the road ahead in its initial phase, across a range of in-vehicle systems and navigation apps. STEP could also allow for real-time network modeling using secure, anonymized, and aggregated vehicle position data. Vodafone’s long-term goal is to expand the platform’s safety features to include detection warnings for vulnerable road users (for example, a large vehicle driver could be alerted to nearby cyclists or pedestrians out of view), fleet management, stolen vehicle tracking, and usage-based insurance support.

The launch of STEP builds on Vodafone’s successful trials of the UK’s first ‘vehicle-to-everything’ road safety system, a cloud-based mobility platform that provides road users with live, highly localized, and targeted updates from road operators on lane closures, speed restrictions, and traffic incidents. Trials at Vodafone’s 5G Mobility Lab at the Aldenhoven Testing Centre in Germany have also explored how 5G technology and highly precise location tracking can help improve traffic safety.

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