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HERE will use Distributed Edge Computing to make traffic safer

30 Nov 2020

As the transportation world becomes more and more automated, with countless machines self-operating everywhere, technology that can understand and predict what’s going on, to the centimetre and in real-time, has never been more valuable.

HERE is a leading location data and technology platform that equips businesses with an extra dimension of location data, that of real-time obstacles and hazards, in order to assist drivers and even enable large-scale automated fleets. It means vehicles can detect obstacles ahead, sending out targeted messages to other road users to warn them. For example, if a pedestrian walks out into the road, not only would the driver receive an alert, but the cars behind would receive warning of the car ahead braking.

This kind of real-time hazard predictability provides incredible benefits, from maximising the efficiency of each journey to avoiding road incidents that might cause disruption and downtime.

But how is it even possible? A traditional, centralised computing system would create too much lag between detecting information and delivering insight. Distributed Edge Computing, in combination with 5G, can solve this challenge - delivering those insights instantly.

The challenge

The HERE location platform really is game-changing, from building massive efficiencies for businesses that operate fleets to potentially saving lives. But it needs game-changing technology behind it. Even a few years ago, the following possibilities would have proven a challenge:

  • Keeping countless moving vehicles connected reliably and without fail while processing and delivering real-time information
  • Warning drivers in real time of incidents ahead 
  • Enabling automated driving
  • Increasing safety on the roads with the development of autonomous vehicles and increasing digital traffic.

The solution

Vodafone Business Distributed Edge with AWS and the HERE location platform will bring this to life. The three-step process involves detecting information with devices and sensors, processing this information on the edge and distributing necessary instructions to nearby road users through intelligently coordinated messages.

Because all this has to happen in real time, there wouldn’t be enough time for the information to travel to and from the cloud to be processed. The lag between detecting an obstacle and informing nearby vehicles would mean those warnings would come too late.

This can only work in a low latency, high bandwidth, low-energy consumption environment. The information is kept on the edge - it’s always hyperlocal which means it’s always hyper fast.

This means HERE can help to:

  • Connect vehicles with what’s happening around them, by combining information from various cameras and sensors on vehicles.
  • Anticipate a hazard and warn drivers of the action they need to take before it becomes a problem. 
  • Enable automated driving by constantly and reliably connecting vehicles to what’s going on around them. 
  • Increase road safety with the rise of automated systems and traffic.

The benefits

This technology will make HERE’s real-time, hyperlocal information processing and insight delivery possible, with customers able to experience:

  • More enjoyable journeys with fewer incidents, increasing employee safety and motivation 

  • A faster and more efficient fleet, allowing businesses to reduce costs 
  • The foundations on which to automate, helping businesses prepare for the future
  • Safer roads, benefiting all road users
  • Smart city technology, keeping pace as our cities get smarter and offer new opportunities.

Ultimately, empowered by Distributed Edge Computing and 5G, HERE will be at the forefront of what’s to come, leading the way to a more autonomous and safer world.

 

We believe that 5G, and specifically Edge Computing, can play a critical role when it comes to the future. What 4G did for the consumer app world, 5G and Edge Computing will do for B2B. Because it has so many benefits that industries can leverage, it will unlock a complete new generation of services.

Carsten Hurasky, Head of Industry Solutions, HERE

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