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Trial of the UK's first mobile 'Vehicle-To-Everything' road safety system goes live

Gabby Fernie

Vodafone, Nokia and Chordant have partnered with road operators to deliver a world-leading road safety mobility cloud platform.

Drawing on the power of mobile and data technologies, the platform is a new type of information superhighway which will ultimately connect vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, and infrastructure in a seamless digital transport ecosystem. 

Trialled for the first time in the West Midlands, digitally connected road users will be provided with live, highly localised, and targeted updates from road operators on lane closures, speed restrictions and traffic incidents.

Road authorities are also trialling the platform to control and ease traffic jams and make informed planning decisions using secure, anonymised, and aggregated vehicle position data sent up to 10 times every second from users who have opted into the service. This capability could be extended for emergency services when responding to an incident such as someone driving the wrong way on a motorway, or for breakdown recovery organisations to assist vulnerable road users.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is leading the way in the UK with the adoption of the ‘vehicle-to-everything’ technology, starting with the region’s city centres and key transport hubs including Birmingham, Coventry, and Wolverhampton.

Using Vodafone’s 4G and 5G network and advanced multi-access edge computing (MEC) technology built into the platform, it allows real time road information from Highways England to be displayed initially on users’ smartphones, and in the future, on in-car infotainment systems.

The platform works with Convex, Chordant’s Mobility Data Exchange facility, to enable dynamic data to be exchanged with road operators and their traffic systems and is the UK’s first live implementation of Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology. C-V2X combines the latest mobile technologies with in-vehicle computer systems to create new mobility services for improved safety and reliability as well as allowing road operators to build ‘greener’ and more sustainable transport networks.

“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” said Director of Policy, Strategy and Innovation at TfWM, Mike Waters.