Operating in the automotive space comes with great responsibility. Roads are an environment where people coexist, regardless of whether they walk, cycle, or drive.

In September Vodafone Automotive will attend the IAA event in Frankfurt – a fantastic platform to discuss the challenges and future direction of the industry with other leading organisations.

For us, this is a very exciting time. On the one hand, it’s great to see how better connectivity continues to open up opportunities to deliver even more advanced in-car technologies and services to our customers. Alongside this, it can be even more motivating to see how the latest advancements, such as 5G, are changing the way people live, not just travel.

This shift is helping us rethink our own role in this evolving landscape.

We want to keep providing world-class telematics services and entertainment to our automotive customers, but we also see a future where connectivity in vehicles actually redefines how road networks, vehicles and other road users interact. This is our vision towards a more sustainable and efficient future for everyone on the road.

5G Progress

The real game changer for us though, the project that truly re-writes the rules of road safety and shapes the future of connected mobility, is the 5G-based C-V2X technology. We are proud and excited to showcase our progresses on this project with a demo at our stand at the IAA.

Over the past few months we have conducted Advanced Driver Assistance testing in Europe which included road sign recognition, forward collision warning, lane crossing, detection of vulnerable users and more. All of these are powered by V2X technology and reliant on our interoperable ecosystem of partners.

We foresee 5G to be crucial for the safer transport of tomorrow and are already working alongside governments, automakers and other technology companies to make sure road users can gain the most from the evolution of connectivity.


A glimpse of our booth

Smart devices, data sensor fusion, firmware and application stacks, camera based analytics, artificial intelligence, ultrasound, microwave sensors: all of these and more are converging on services and products to make lives easier, healthier, smarter and more fulfilling.

These are the kind of new in-car technologies we work on at Vodafone Automotive and will proudly showcase at the IAA event.

At our booth visitors will be able to test solutions like Narrowband IoT Smart Parking, which enables efficient space management in urban mobility, or the Audi e-tron solution, that integrates a digital touch interface within the car's control unit to transform in-car entertainment.

Crucially, the safety and security of users remains a top priority. That’s why many of our existing products are evolving into preventive solutions, rather than being simply reactive ones.

One particular product of this kind we will showcase at IAA is Vodafone Driving Academy: It’s an easy to use, smartphone-based application enabled by complex algorithms, which monitors driver behaviour and coaches the user to reduce distraction behind the wheel.

Understanding the challenges of electric vehicle makers is another key area of focus for Vodafone Automotive. Our Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which warns those nearby of an approaching electric vehicle, is one of the products aimed at making these emerging ePowered, sustainable means of transport safer for everyone on the road.

The IAA is not just about cars though, two-wheelers are also taking advantage of this technology, and at our stand we will present the second generation of the unu electric scooter. These fully-connected mopeds have features like key sharing, navigation and anti-theft protection enabled from the start, making them one of the best examples of vehicles fit for the future of connected and shared mobility.


Recent figures revealed from sat-nav manufacturer TomTom show that the UK is home to nine cities in the top 100 most congested cities globally, and overall congestion is up by an average of 1% (year on year).

Congestion in cities makes them less liveable, increases pollution and makes commuting a misery for millions around the world every day. It comes as no surprise that the focus of this year’s IAA, the world’s biggest motor show, is the future of mobility. Many players in the automotive sphere are working on finding ways to improve people’s lives by enhancing their options to travel and move around in the city.

We believe connectivity will redefine how road networks, vehicles and other road users interact, creating a more sustainable and efficient future for everyone.

That’s why one product we are really proud to present to the public at the event is the new electric scooter from unu, which offers a connected, quick, clean and accessible way to commute and can be shared with friends and family with just one click.

Unu is a Berlin based start-up, part of Vodafone’s IoT accelerator programme UPLIFT. Unu’s scooters are truly innovative: an app can fully replace the ignition key! They are also fully connected, allowing the user to check battery level, track, stop and start the vehicle from anywhere. This means the owner of an unu scooter can share it with family and friends remotely via their smart phone, enabling a new form of mobility called “micro-sharing” for the first time.

Given the nature of this product, additional theft protection features have been added to ensure that if the scooter moves, the owner receives a notification and the vehicle is tracked. The unu electric scooter is also truly smart: capable of learning, updates will automatically be imported from the cloud.

All these digital features make unu the perfect partner for businesses interested in designing an electric scooter fleet: sustainable, shareable, trackable and able to evolve with the world of mobility.

Author: Gion Baker, CEO Vodafone Automotive