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On 2-4 March 2005, ITU-T together with ISO held a workshop The Fully Networked Car: a Workshop on ICT in Vehicle. The event took place during the world-famous International Motor Show in Geneva.

ICT in cars – or telematics - is an area of significant interest and impact to both the ICT and the automotive industries. The three-day workshop consisted of a mixture of high-level and technical presentations and attracted more than 100 participants with presentations from key speakers from both the automotive and ICT industries.

The first session was chaired by Paul Najarian, Director of Telecommunications and Standards of Intelligent Transportation Society of America, following an opening speech by Houlin Zhao, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau of ITU. 

Standards Approach

Walter Maisel, Executive Vice President, Magna Electronics Group, speaking in the first sesssion, explained how he thought that a shift from a proprietary approach to technology development, to open standards architecture is needed in order to leverage communication technologies and implement solutions that better take into account customer needs. This he says can be achieved with open hardware and software architecture with standardized internal interfaces and standardized application programming interfaces (APIs). This was a sentiment echoed by most in attendance.

Business Models

The second session focused on business models. A panel of stakeholder representatives addressed how business models are shaped as market forces determine the best value propositions. Examples from specific stakeholder groups looked to explain the commercial elements of what was described as this new ‘telematics ecosystem’, and examine the effect that participation in the standards and technology development might have.

Kyu-Kwan Lim, Vice President of Solution Business Division, SK Telecom introduced the Jeju Telematics Pilot City Project, a test-bed for SKT to provide telematics services. The state-of-the-art telematics services provided to inhabitants and visitors to the popular tourist destination include; a customized travel and traffic information service; a 'Jeju Cultural Event' service that provides a variety of event schedules and tourism information; a 'V-Shop' service that lets customers order and make payments for special products on Jeju Island through a wireless LAN and cellular network; and a 'Safe' service that connects customers with Jeju Island's Fire Control Center in the case of an emergency.In the same session Joyce Wenger, Booz Allen Hamilton introduced the US Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) initiative which is investigating the potential for two-way, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside communications to provide a new suite of services to automobile, truck and bus users. Various stakeholders she said, including automobile manufacturers, the US Department of Transportation, state and local highway departments, deployers and managers of the roadside infrastructure, telecommunications companies, application providers, and others, all have an interest in developing compatible models for VII to deal with financing, maintenance, for profit services, and other applications. 

In a later session Dave Acton, ITS America welcomed the VII initiative but said that technical, commercial and social issues are daunting. Data privacy he says is a key issue to be resolved in order for VII to be realized. 

The session on business models concluded with agreement that the business model for ICT in vehicles should be studied from a holistic perspective, addressing the technical, economic, cultural, and political challenges, and moving from an engineering and governmental focus to customer and business oriented focuses. In order to define a clear vision it was agreed that an implementation roadmap is drawn up that shows value chain complexity and system component relationships.

Next-up, Michael Dornan of GartnerG2 gave his presentation based on industry analyst GartnerG2’s analysis of the telematics service in European market. Dornan says that now the hype has died down, he believes that the technology may be about to take-off. But he says that we should be wary of over-regulation that might hold telematics back.

Christine Kanz, IP Lawyer, Reimann Osterreith Koehler Haft warned in her presentation that standards need to be applied for the legitimate safety expectations of the least informed and most endangered user. Manufacturers must inform on the limits of the system, for example how does it perform under bad weather conditions? She also warned that manufacturers must take foreseeable misuse into consideration and must take measures to avoid it.

For details on the Standards Harmonization session please see separate article, page. 


A session on in-vehicle emergency calls (eCall) aimed to show how this service can speed-up the response of the emergency services and potentially reduce the number of fatalities, severity of injuries and stress in post-crash situations. Wolfgang A. Reinhardt, Director Regulatory Affairs, ACEA eCall in Europe showed the current status and the rollout plan for the eCall project in Europe. He says that the costs of eCall will be more than compensated for by the expected savings in health and social services.

Japan has a system in place to provide a service similar to the planned eCall system. Masatoshi Morita of the National Police Agency, Japan introduced his country’s HELP system. In an emergency, cars equipped with HELP transmit location information obtained from GPS via an in-vehicle unit and a cellular phone to an operation centre. 

David Horncastle, Ygomi expanded on the topic in the next session. A cost-effective eCall solution he says has been elusive for the best part of a decade. Most car makers that have offered telematics in their vehicles have included a form of emergency voice call with vehicle positioning, generally with a telematics service provider as the intermediary to the local public safety answering point (PSAP). This model has proven complex and costly he said and a large proportion of customers have not been renewing subscriptions for this and other services offered after the initial ‘free’ period. 

The session concluded that to introduce eCall as a standard option on new vehicles from 2010 it maybe necessary to have buy-in and the commitment of the necessary resources from a broad range of stakeholders including Member States, EC and ERTICO, and commit necessary resources. Furthermore, a sustainable business model needs to be worked out before the end of 2005 in order not to risk planned introduction dates.


The next session explored advances in on and off-board vehicle diagnostics that can communicate vehicle data in order to diagnose problems before they become an issue and react accordingly for improved reliability and operator awareness.

Wolfgang Bremer, of Robert Bosch GmbH described in his presentation co-operation between the authorities and standardisation committees (ISO/TC22/SC3), on on-board diagnostic (OBD) standards. OBD he says could develop into a comprehensive general diagnosis procedure covering the complete vehicle with all its functions and systems.

Tony Malaterre of ACTIA, a group of companies specialising in vehicle electronics and diagnostics, says that he believes that standards are important everywhere in the diagnostic process, to communicate with vehicle, to exchange data and so on. This was also a key conclusion of this session, along with a suggestion that, given the cost and complexity of developing a complete system description, new methods should be developed to avoid this and use pattern recognition as a diagnostic method.

Network Platforms

Following this a session on network platforms discussed current direction in both wired and wireless networks, both in-vehicle and between vehicles and road infrastructure. The requirements of the underlying network to support new applications and services (protocols and access technologies) necessary for extra-vehicle communication were examined. Representatives of VW and BMW were among presenters detailing different systems. 

Knut Evensen, Q-Free and Bob Williams, ISO, described a set of standards developed by ISO TC204 called CALM (Continuous Air-interface for Long and Medium range). CALM aims to isolate the applications environment from the communications stack, and provide a seamless communications service using several communication medias. The standards aim to provide flexible interoperability and future proofing to the market place and include management functions to facilitate handover between media and operators, support session handover between different media, stations, operators and service suppliers with minimum service interruption.

The session concluded that due to the increasing number of networked electronics components, a level of complexity has been reached which cannot be managed using traditional development processes. Government, traffic authorities and environmental agencies are critical stakeholders. The automotive industry needs a paradigm shift from a hardware, component-driven model to a requirement and function-driven development process which can only be achieved with standards.

Human Machine Interface

Presenters in the next session discussed the major issues in human machine interface (HMI) including driver distraction, information management and data presentation, the operational problems of speech transmission and processing systems when used in mobile environments. Solutions were outlined based on acoustic and digital technologies. 

Among the presentations was one from Annie Pauzie of the National Research Institute on Transport and Safety, France. She described research activities undertaken by her organization to identify the criteria to apply when designing interfaces, in order to develop methodologies to evaluate acceptability and usability of these systems by drivers. Her presentation also detailed the eSafety initiative by The European Community which has a specific focus on HMI issues.

A number of presentations in this session looked at speech technologies including ways to reduce the impact of in-car noise, speech recognition and synthesis.


The last session of the three-day workshop examined the concept of supporting communication between anyone, any device, anytime and anywhere which it is said is becoming the major challenge for the makers of future telecommunication network platforms. A major goal is to bring to market multimedia communication solutions with seamless network interconnectivity for business customers on the move. The session covered the evolution towards ubiquitous applications and services as well as in-vehicle solutions. The visions of Waseda University, Japan, Swisscom, NTT DoCoMo and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) of this goal of ubiquitous communications were presented. 


In 2003, ITU-T held a workshop Telecommunication for Motor Vehicles. This 2005 workshop consented again that the fully networked car will only be achieved by fostering collaborative efforts on the international level. In the concluding session automotive and ICT industry experts stressed the need for more standardization. It was generally agreed that the workshop has shown that both the automotive and the telecommunication industry clearly benefit from standardization initiatives. Discussions are underway concerning a 2006 event. 

This article first appeared in the May 2005 issue of ISO Focus - The Magazine of the International Organization for Standardization ( )and is reproduced here with the permission of ISO Central Secretariat ( Editorial enquiries: A one-year subscription costs 158 Swiss francs. Subscription enquiries:


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Updated : 2005-05-23