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 Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Imagine a future in which cars will be able to foresee and avoid collisions, navigate the quickest route to their destination, making use of up-to-the-minute traffic reports, identify the nearest available parking slot and minimize their carbon emissions. Indeed, imagine a future where cars can largely drive themselves, leaving their passengers to use the free time to watch the sports game on live TV.

All of these possibilities already exist within the laboratories of car manufacturers and some are already available commercially. But they rely on communications links that must be increasingly high-capacity and long range to deal with the full range of requirements of future transport users. The generic technology they use is called Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). The requirement for future standards in the ITS field is to be able to provide multiple services, over multiple different platforms, that will work in different countries (as vehicles can easily cross borders), while maintaining a simple-to-use interface that requires minimum intervention from the driver.

This, then, is the rationale behind an ongoing effort, launched by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) in 2003, under the auspices of Working Group 16 of ISO Technical Committee 204, and promoted by the more recently created industry association - The CALM Forum - to develop a new family of ITS standards with the overall branding of Continuous Air-interface, Long and Medium range (CALM).

A new ITU-T Briefing Report on CALM has been released as part of the Technology Watch function, which evaluates its potential as a new area for ITU standardization work (for instance, integrated with Next-Generation Networks) and its likely implications for developing countries. The report notes the work currently going on in ITU on ITS, including the forthcoming Fully Networked Car III workshop, to be held on 3-5 March 2008 in Geneva. It is planned that this will be the first of a series of new Briefing Reports looking at emerging new technologies.

Technology Watch report on CALM.pdf (165.36 KB)

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