Volvo Cars is joining forces with other automakers, service providers and national governments in a ground-breaking, pan-European pilot project to share traffic safety data generated by cars and infrastructure, in the interest of safer roads across the continent.
The pilot project, run under the umbrella of the European Data Task Force public-private partnership, brings together some of Europe’s leading vehicle makers and service providers, as well as a number of EU member states. The partners will share anonymized safety data, or safety services based on that data, with the pilot via a cloud-based platform. Volvo will contribute to the pilot project by providing real-time data from its industry-first Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) connected safety technologies, such as Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert. Participating car makers can use the data to warn drivers of potential dangers on the road ahead, while service providers can deliver this data via their live traffic services, and to traffic services operated by national road authorities.
The pilot project, across borders and brands on a reciprocal basis, has the overarching aim of improving traffic safety for all. The European Data Task Force was founded in 2017 for exactly this purpose: to make driving safer for all road users by prioritizing societal over monetary gain. The European Data Task Force includes: government transport ministries in The Netherlands, Spain, Finland, Germany, and Luxembourg; together with service providers, Here Europe and TomTom Traffic; and vehicle manufacturers, BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo Cars.
Volvo’s own alert systems allow the company’s cars to communicate with each other and warn drivers of nearby slippery road conditions and hazards via a cloud-based network. Both features were first introduced in 2016 and are available on all new Volvo models across Europe. Sharing traffic data in real-time can provide a strong boost to overall traffic safety and becomes more influential the more cars are connected. Since last year, Volvo’s Cars and Trucks divisions have shared data to alert drivers of nearby hazards in Sweden and Norway.
Volvo Cars has called for open and reciprocal sharing of anonymized safety data for some years. In 2017, its president and CEO, Håkan Samuelsson told a conference at the European Commission in Brussels that, “Sharing data between governments and car makers is the right thing to do. We think this type of anonymized data sharing should be done for free, for the greater good, and to the wider benefit of society. It saves lives, time and taxpayer money. I call on other car makers and governments to work with us on realizing this type of data sharing as widely as possible.”
Malin Ekholm, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Center, commented, “The more vehicles we have sharing safety data in real-time, the safer our roads become. That is why the European Data Task Force is such an important initiative. We hope to bring on board even more partners who share our commitment to safety.”