Data Privacy Mobility Edge Computing


Data privacy is being one of the most recurrent discussion topics when talking about smart solutions that try to solve citizen’s needs. In last years, the new GPDR regulation pushed existing and new smart solutions to find the right formula to develop customised services while ensuring data privacy. When considering mobility services, geo-localisation issues are commonly added on top of that formula so it has to be carefully analysed in addition to the rest of the existing features.

Pledger’s UC2 proposal aims to assist drivers with enhanced perception capabilities, in order to reduce the number of accidents and ensure safety in cities. It focuses on intersections where the drivers’ visibility may be obstructed, thus missing the presence of a pedestrian or other Vulnerable Road User (VRU) approaching. Through smart Edge Cloud infrastructure, potential collisions will be detected and the surrounding drivers will be notified in advance about their presence. This solution considers the use of the different actor’s locations present in the area of influence. Accurate position acquisition, processing and storage have to be properly addressed.

In this solution, vulnerable road users like bicycles and scooters carry custom on-board units (OBUs) developed by i2cat that includes a geo-localisation system. OBUs do not store any position at any time but send it to the edge infrastructure, only when needed, of the monitored area when the VRUs are approaching to it. Furthermore, OBUs are not required to be registered or linked to a specific user. At this point, two of the main privacy concerns when talking about positioning have been addressed; no users are registered and positions are not continuously recorded to avoid position traceability ensuring privacy while process optimization.

Location data sent by the on-board units carried by different vulnerable road users on the area and from the tram detection service is sent to a Risk Detection and Notification Service (RDNS) on the edge to processes it and determining when there is a potential risky situation. This service is deployed and runs in the compute infrastructure which is managed and orchestrated by Pledger. If such a situation is detected, notifications or critical warning are sent, respectively, depending on whether the VRUs are far from or close to the tram station, where the accidents between VRUs and pedestrians entering or leaving the tram can happen.

As exposed before, stored data exists only in the edge compute and consists on the minimum data required by the solution so it does not include any personal data. Furthermore, stored positions cannot provide any kind of user traceability beyond the area of monitoring.

Thus, data privacy and the Pledger’s flexibility to optimize different processes were addressed by design since the very beginning of the solution. Pledger has been a good example on how to address a mobility challenge, being the main goal and motivation, while considering technical innovations as a key driver.

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