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 Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Representatives of the car industry joined with more traditional ITU-T members at the first meeting of the Focus Group From/In/To Car Communication.

The Focus Group meeting in Geneva, January, worked on specifications that will enhance communications in vehicles. Using as a starting point a specification developed by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) the Focus Group is looking to improve a draft Recommendation P.Carhft under development by ITU-Ts Study Group 12. The Focus Group concept allows for non-members, in this case the auto industry to participate.

A first priority is to deal with speakerphone audio quality, aiming to provide a specification that will help to improve the speech- and sound - quality between different devices. Second priority is requirements for headsets including wireless. Chairman of the group, Hans Gierlich of Head Acoustics noted also that a major problem for the car industry is car-to-car communications.

While first concentrating on narrowband speech (3.4kHz), the group will eventually move into better quality - wideband (8kHz). Input is also required in the area of testing for interaction between the network and hands-free terminals. In addition speech recognition will be addressed.

Participating companies included Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, DaimlerChrysler, France Telecom, Harman/Becker, Head Acoustics, Mitsubushi, Nortel and Volkswagen.

A second FG meeting hosted by HARMAN/BECKER Automotive Systems is planned for March 15 in Ulm, Germany following the ITU, ISO and IEC event, The Fully Networked Car, Information and Communication Technologies in Motor Vehicles. The event taking place at the Geneva Motor Show will review and examine the implications of the latest developments in this fast-moving market. A significant value-add will be an exhibition showcasing the latest technologies in the field.