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Will IoT light devices replace road warning triangles throughout Europe?

27 Jul 2021
Daniel Jiménez Muñoz

Daniel Jiménez Muñoz

Director, Vodafone Business Spain

Imagine you’re driving on your own in an area you don’t know when your car breaks down. You call your roadside assistance provider, but have trouble telling them exactly where you are. Or worse, you can’t get signal and have to leave your vehicle to get help.

With a Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) emergency beacon, you can send your geolocation to the local traffic control system without even leaving your vehicle.

Recognising the value of this, Spanish authorities are making this technology compulsory come 2026.

The change comes after The Spanish Department of Traffic (DGT) found that 32 people were killed on Spain’s roads after leaving their vehicle after it had broken down, between the years 2019 and 20211

Using light beacons is believed to be much safer than the current method of warning triangles because they keep drivers inside their cars, but this is just one benefit. It is also set to reduce response times in an emergency as it provides real-time information about the position of a traffic incident.

Steering towards safer roads

Working with Netun solutions, a leader in road safety, and making the most of our extensive NB-IoT network, we’ve been exploring this technology further creating an updated version of our Help Flash safety light.

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Help Flash IoT, designed and developed in Spain and being manufactured entirely in Zaragoza, is a flashing light that can replace emergency warning triangles for motorists.

Easy to use, the device will stay connected throughout its life drawing only on its internal battery, which can last up to 10 years.

The long battery life and the wide coverage reach are made possible by NB-IoT, a network technology that guarantees signal even in hard to reach places.

With the market’s largest NB-IoT network, which covers the whole of Spain, it is the ideal solution for critical devices that don’t always have to be operational.

By Royal Decree

In Spain, according to Royal Decree 159/2021 which regulates roadside assistance services, all Spanish vehicles will have to be equipped with one of these devices by 2026.

It also specifies that they must automatically connect to the DGT 3.0, one of the most advanced and a first-of-its-kind platform in Europe that has been launched by The Spanish Department of Traffic.

It allows them to better control and manage everything on the road from drivers to cranes and transport. The platform also makes it possible for different road users to keep connected, offering them real-time traffic information to achieve safer and smarter mobility.

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Thanks to IoT, 5G and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), we are transforming the mobility landscape enabling smarter, safer and more efficient journeys for everyone on our roads.

Learn more about the future of mobility and how NB-IoT can help your business.


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