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New joint standards initiative on intelligent transport systems

ITU and ISO pool resources to address bottlenecks

Leading global standards organizations ITU and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have announced the creation of a partnership in the burgeoning field of intelligent transport systems (ITS) to speed up the deployment of ITS products and services.

Industry experts who gathered for the Fully Networked Car @ Geneva International Motor Show event on 2–3 March 2011 agreed that the next 20 years will see a huge shift towards ITS. For the sixth year running, the event was organized by ITU, ISO and their partner, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Today’s communications capabilities make it possible for vehicles to foresee and avoid collisions, navigate the quickest route to their destination, make use of upto-the-minute traffic reports, identify the nearest available parking slot, minimize their carbon emissions and provide multimedia communications.

Despite considerable investment in research and development, the lack of global standards has hampered the large-scale deployment of ITS services and applications. The involvement of international standards bodies is critical to easing the bottlenecks that result in part from poor communication between overlapping sectors — automotive, ITS players, telecommunication suppliers and operators.

The new Joint Task Force for ITS Communications will engineer better collaboration between the different sectors, and pool resources within ITU and ISO so as to link existing work and avoid duplication. ITU and ISO have long cooperated on the creation of standards in the field. The new agreement cements this relationship, promoting greater coordination of their work programmes and harmonization of all outputs.

“Manufacturers have the will to implement these technologies, but as yet there has been no real breakthrough in terms of the technical standards needed to roll this out on a global scale. Vehicle manufacturers do not want to create different versions of the technology for different markets. They do not want regional or national standards. They want global standards. Through this initiative, ITU and ISO show that they are willing and able to provide them,” said ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré.

ISO Secretary-General, Rob Steele, agreed. “There is a need to harmonize the standardization of essential technologies to provide a solid base for further innovation and the economies of scale for commercialization of technologies”, he said. “We urgently need to consider the interoperability of all of this technology, not only in the vehicle, but also in the wider support infrastructure. The value of the solutions proposed is magnified when they are globally relevant. Customers of international standards care about the benefits that implementing international standards provide. Industry should not — and will not — wait while standards organizations fight among themselves or compete about who will develop the standards. Industry wants to be listened to, and have their needs for international standard solutions met.”


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