Vodafone has launched a new platform to connect European road users directly with transport authorities and each other.
The Safer Transport for Europe Platform (STEP) enables safety information, hazard warnings and traffic updates to be shared in real-time no matter which device or in-vehicle system they are using.
STEP is aiming to address the problem of data fragmentation and information silos. The platform is designed to be compatible with all map apps and in-vehicle navigation systems developed by partner organisations. Access to the platform and safety information is free for digitally connected road users.
Vodafone is collaborating with a number of partners to bring the technology to road users and plans to launch the platform within its own Vodafone Automotive apps later this year.
As a cloud-based platform built on open, industry standards, STEP enables a wide eco-system of participants – governments, transport authorities, vehicle manufacturers, mobility service providers and other mobile network operators – to work together to improve road safety across Europe.
“Improving road safety is still a major challenge for Europe,” says Joakim Reiter, chief external and corporate affairs officer at Vodafone. “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.”
Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business, says: “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.”
In its initial phase, STEP will be able to 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.
STEP could also enable modeling of the road network in real-time using secure, anonymised, and aggregated vehicle position data.
Vodafone’s long-term ambition is to develop the platform’s safety functionality to include detection warnings for vulnerable road users – for example, a driver of a large vehicle could be alerted to nearby cyclists or pedestrians out of view – as well as fleet management, stolen vehicle tracking and supporting usage-based insurance.