The new platform aims to connect vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and infrastructure in a digital transport ecosystem
British telecommunications firm Vodafone has announced the testing of a new mobility cloud platform, vehicle-to-everything, for the first time on the open road in the UK to improve the safety of road users.
The latest technology is a new type of information superhighway that aims to connect vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and infrastructure in a digital transport ecosystem.
The cloud platform is developed by Vodafone, Chordant, and Nokia with support from the UK Government Centre for Connected and Automated Vehicles (CCAV) and the Midlands Future Mobility (MFM) consortium.
It provides live, highly localised and targeted updates to digitally connected road users in the West Midlands.
The updates are collected from road operators on lane closures, speed restrictions and traffic incidents.
Vodafone Group R&D head Luke Ibbetson said: “It’s fantastic to see vehicle to everything mobile technology being deployed on the open road for the first time in the UK. While the system is delivered via smartphone, drivers will need to use hands-free equipment.
“Meanwhile we are working with the automotive industry and road operators to have the technology integrated within vehicles and transport infrastructure to make our roads safer.”
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, will implement ‘vehicle-to-everything’ technology in the region’s cities, including Birmingham, Coventry, and Wolverhampton.
The mobility cloud platform uses Vodafone’s fast 4G and 5G network and advanced multi-access edge computing (MEC) technology built into the platform.
It will allow real-time road information from Highways England to be displayed initially on users’ smartphones, and on in-car infotainment systems in the future.
Furthermore, the ‘vehicle-to-everything’ technology works with Chordant’s Mobility Data Exchange facility, Convex, to enable dynamic data to be exchanged with road operators and their traffic systems.
It is touted to be the UK’s first live deployment of Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.
C-V2X integrates the latest mobile technologies with in-vehicle computer systems to create new mobility services for enhanced safety and reliability.
TfWM policy, strategy and innovation director Mike Waters said: “We are now reaching the point where connected vehicle technology is genuinely able to start making a meaningful and very powerful difference to the big issues in transport like safety and energy efficiency.
“The work we have done with Convex and Vodafone is moving solutions forward not just for the West Midlands, but for the whole country and really exemplifies the UK’s position of global excellence in this space.”