Features | 24 Jan 2023

How Vodafone’s Edge Innovation Programme will ‘enable the technology of the future’

Vodafone's UK Business Director Nick Gliddon went to Milton Keynes to talk about how Multi-access Edge Computing could help driverless car software start-up, Imperium Drive, improve its car rental app.

Vodafone’s Edge Innovation Programme gives businesses the opportunity to try out a new technology called Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), which brings computing power closer to where it’s needed.

This radically speeds up response times and lowers latency (lag), which is really important for applications that need the shortest possible delay between input and reaction – think autonomous vehicles, wireless virtual reality headsets and remotely assisted surgery, for example.

Imperium Drive is developing a remote driving capability for its driverless rental car delivery service. CEO Koosha Kaveh said: “Vodafone’s Multi-access Edge Computing would allow us to reduce our latency, which is essential for us to achieve higher speeds on roads, safely.”

Imperium Drive’s app would give users the ability to order a rental car which is then delivered to their doorstep remotely.

Nick Gliddon said: “Multi-access Edge Computing will enable a whole raft of new companies, new applications, and new technologies. And when you partner that with 5G, and you can slice the network and you can create private networks for use in low-latency applications, it’s unique, and will enable the networks and the technology of the future.”

In January 2023, Vodafone launched its new Edge Lab & Innovation Centre at MediaCity in Manchester – a place where software engineers and customers can test out MEC before they buy.

Delivering the opening address, MG Pecorari, Vodafone’s UK Director of Strategy & Wholesale, emphasised the uniqueness of Vodafone’s MEC technology and the importance of the new Innovation Centre, saying: “We’re here in Manchester because Vodafone supports the ambition of Manchester to become a digital northern powerhouse.”

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