The ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction has presented its final deliverables in the form of five technical reports to form the basis for ITU-T’s accelerating standardization work in the driver distraction arena.
Established in February 2011, the Focus Group has been instrumental in raising awareness around ITU-T activity on driver distraction and the scale of this workload, as well as in providing clear direction to ITU-T’s driver-distraction work plan. The group has also been successful in opening lines of communication with key organizations and drawing new expertise into the ITU-T standardization process.
The Focus Group’s five technical reports describe user interface requirements for automotive applications; system capabilities for improving the safety of driver interaction with applications and services; and approaches being used to enable external applications to communicate with a vehicle. The reports are freely available here
The conclusions put forward by the reports are being taken up by the two groups leading ITU-T’s standardization work on driver distraction, Study Group 12
(Performance, QoS and QoE) and Study Group 16
(Multimedia coding, systems and applications). New related work items calling for external coordination and collaboration may also be addressed by the Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards
ITU’s engagement with driver distraction originated with Resolution 1318 - ITU's role in ICTs and improving Road Safety
adopted in April 2010 by ITU’s governing body, ITU Council
. The Resolution was made in response to the fact that, as stated in Resolution 1318, “driver distraction and road-user behavior, which includes among many examples ‘texting’, ‘text messaging’, interfacing with in-vehicle navigation or communication systems, are among the leading contributors to road traffic fatalities and injuries.”
An ITU-T Technology Watch report entitled "Decreasing Driver Distraction"
was published in August 2010, playing a role in kick-starting the work of the Focus Group. The report is a succinct overview of the relationship between ICTs and driver distraction and also discusses the core issues at play when viewed from a standardization perspective.
Looking ahead, this year’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
on 17 May is themed, “ICTs and improving road safety
”. A highlight of the event will be ITU’s presenting the annual World Telecommunication and Information Society Award
to eminent personalities in recognition of their leadership and dedication to the field.
In addition, an upcoming workshop hosted by ITU and UNECE
at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 27 June 2013, will address “Intelligent transport systems in emerging markets – drivers for safe and sustainable growth
”. This workshop includes a session dedicated to driver distraction which will host Scott Pennock (BlackBerry), former Chairman of the now terminated Focus Group, to present the outcomes outlined by the group’s technical reports and to discuss the likely course of corresponding ITU-T standardization work.
Scott Pennock’s recent article on the QNX Auto Blog provides the rationale for tackling driver distraction in ITU-T and also summarizes the use cases and user scenarios targeted by forthcoming ITU-T Recommendations.