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ITU awards President of Swiss Confederation Ueli Maurer, Volkmar Denner of Bosch and Jean Todt, President of F.I.A.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Award 2013 focuses on catalytic role of ICTs in improving road safety

Geneva, 3 May 2013 – ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré announced the winners of the 2013 World Telecommunication and Information Society Award. President of the Swiss Confederation Mr Ueli Maurer; Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH Mr Volkmar Denner; and President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) Mr Jean Todt have been honoured in recognition of their leadership and dedication towards promoting ICTs as a means of improving road safety.

The World Telecommunication and Information Society Award 2013 will be presented at a ceremony in Geneva on 17 May to mark the 148th anniversary of the establishment of ITU in 1865.

The theme, “ICTs and Improving Road Safety” for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2013 is in line with the United Nations “Decade of Action for Road Safety” which dedicates the period 2011-2020 towards improving global road safety.

Road traffic safety is a global concern not only for public health and injury prevention but also to improve efficiencies in traffic management as a means of combating the effects of climate change.

ITU has been leading worldwide efforts in developing state-of-the-art ICT standards for intelligent transport systems (ITS) and driver safety that utilize a combination of computers, communications, positioning and automation technologies, including in-car radars for collision avoidance. ITU has also been developing standards for safe user interfaces and communication systems in vehicles as well as optimizing driving performance by eliminating unsafe technology-related distractions while driving.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré lauded the work of the laureates in harnessing the catalysing role of ICTs in improving road safety. “We must explore all avenues to promote intelligent transport systems to make our roads safer and more efficient,” Dr Touré said. “And we must work with our partners to ensure that technology-driven driver distractions are eliminated in vehicles.”

On 17 May, ITU and the Fédération Internationale des Automobiles (F.I.A.) will announce a partnership to collaborate on global road safety over the next seven years to raise awareness and highlight the link between ICTs and road safety globally.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Awards

Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation, is a citizen of Adelboden and hails from Hinwil, where his political career began in 1978 with his election as member of the Communal Council. Hinwil is a centre of the Swiss motorsports industry and is home to the Sauber Formula 1 racing team.

Over the years, on the road to the Swiss Presidency, Mr Maurer has shown personal commitment to sports, health, social security and civil protection. In 2008, Mr Maurer was elected member of the Federal Council and has been in charge of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.

Switzerland is among the safest countries for road users in the world and has recorded a significant decrease in road traffic mortality in the period 2001-2010. The Swiss Council for Accident Prevention has been actively involved with ITU in developing standards for Driver Assistance Systems and intelligent systems for accident prevention in road traffic.

Volkmar Denner is Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH and its chief technical officer.  His many responsibilities include research and advance engineering as well as the Bosch Software Innovations and Healthcare Telemedicine units.

Robert Bosch GmbH was among the first signatories of the European Road Safety Charter. Founded in 1886, Bosch is a leading global supplier of technology and services headquartered near Stuttgart, Germany. It is one of the leading suppliers of automotive components, including fuel-injection systems for internal combustion engines. Bosch is also responsible for pioneering innovations in the areas of vehicle safety systems, in-car information and communication systems, as well as driver-assistance and other guidance functions. In addition to enhancing individual vehicle safety, these systems also help to ensure safety in ITS. Innovations at Bosch include the antilock braking system (ABS), traction control system (TCS), and electronic stability programme (ESP®), all of which intervene before a crash occurs.

Bosch experts are working with ITU to develop short-range high-resolution automotive radar systems in the 79 GHz frequency band, with the aim of improving both transportation efficiency and road safety.

Jean Todt, President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), is a household name in motorsports. Under his leadership, Scuderia Ferrari won 14 Formula 1 World titles –including five consecutive titles with Michael Schumacher – and 106 Grand Prix.

Over the past years, Jean Todt has made global road safety a professional and personal engagement. Since his election as President, he has made it a priority of the FIA. In support of the UN Decade of Action, and under the banner of the FIA Action for Road Safety, he has been tirelessly lobbying leaders and decision-makers all around the world, urging them to commit to tangible, affordable and verifiable measures aimed at reducing the 1.3 million deaths and 50 million injuries, the yearly toll on the world's roads.

In April 2009, Mr Todt became President of “eSafety Aware!” for the promotion of smart vehicles and new safety technologies. He is a strong advocate for improvements in road safety as a key consideration in future global transport planning. Jean Todt is also Vice President of the ICM Foundation (Institut du cerveau et de moelle épinière). The Brain & Spine Institute is a research centre which brings together patients, physicians and researchers under one roof for the rapid treatment of lesions affecting the nervous system.

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) is the governing body for world motor sport and the federation of the world’s leading motoring organizations. Founded in 1904, with headquarters in Paris, the FIA is a non-profit making association. It brings together more than 230 national motoring and sporting organizations from over 135 countries on five continents. Its member clubs represent millions of motorists and their families.

For more information, please see www.itu.int/en/wtisd/Pages/default.aspx or contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
tel +41 22 730 5046
tel +41 79 249 4861
tel pressinfo@itu.int
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