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Terms of Reference


Terms of Reference of ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction

Revised January 2012

1. Scope

Driver distraction occurs when non-driving tasks (e.g., talking on the phone, checking meeting information, etc.) cause reaction time delays or errors in time-critical driving tasks. These extra delays and errors have the potential to result in a collision that might otherwise be avoided. Technology can also be used to support driving tasks (e.g., navigating, climate control operation) in an effort to reduce collisions. The objective of this focus group is to help optimize driving performance and reduce collisions by producing reports, providing input on ITU-T Recommendations, and corresponding with other Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), Government/Industry forums, organisations of persons with disabilities and drivers with disabilities.

Tasks considered within the scope of this focus group include:

  • Reports
    • Generating a report on factors to consider when developing requirements for ICT related applications or systems used by people in an automotive environment
    • Generating a report on driver and passenger tasks in the vehicle
    • Generating a report on optimal information flow and multi-modal message formats between the driver and automotive cockpit for different use cases
    • Generating a report on new ICT related techniques and technologies that can be used to reduce collisions associated with driver distraction
  • Requirements input
    • Developing design guidance for integrated applications and a remote interface for non-integrated applications running on a connected mobile phone or other remote device
    • Proposing methods for assessment of driver workload including its visual, auditory, cognitive, and psychomotor aspects
    • Proposing availability, reliability, and transmission performance requirements for automotive services—except for aspects of speech services covered by FG CarCOM
    • Proposing mechanisms that can be used to manage information flow and message formats between the driver and automotive cockpit
    • Proposing mechanisms for co-ordination of components, subsystems, and applications to minimize cognitive demands
    • Proposing visual-manual guidelines
  • Corresponding
    • Co-ordinating efforts across SDOs, government/industry forums, companies, academic institutions, and subject matter experts

It is recognized that there are other organized efforts attempting to address some of these areas. However, there is an increasing trend for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) related technologies and applications, within the scope of the Telecommunications Standardization Sector (ITU-T), to be deployed in the automotive cockpit; and it is unlikely that the work being done by other entities will adequately influence the development of ITU-T Recommendations without a focused effort within the ITU-T. FG Distraction does not seek to duplicate other standardization efforts. Rather, it will leverage existing work and expertise whenever possible in pursuit of its objective.

The scope of this focus group applies to ICT installed, connected, and nomadic devices, networks, and applications accessed from within the automotive cockpit of any road vehicle. These devices, networks, and applications are often provided by mobile phone manufactures, service providers, application authors, automotive OEMs, and automotive aftermarket suppliers.

2. Work items

The following areas may be addressed in the future activity of the Focus Group:

  • Test methods for assessment of driver workload
  • Objective predictors of instantaneous workload
  • Multi-modal format of information transmitted to driver
    • Which may depend on active apps (e.g., HF call + Nav prompt)
  • Multi-modal input of information received from driver
    • Which may depend on active apps
  • Management of information flow between driver and vehicle gateway
  • Mechanisms for management of information flow and message format
    • Estimate of current driver workload
      • Vehicle state (turning, etc.)
      • Current apps (radio, Nav, etc.)
    • Manage communications to driver
      • Delay non-critical prompt if high workload
      • Repeat message when driver ready so he/she does not feel compelled to engage when message first received
      • Determine best format for communicating message (e.g., spatial mix of Nav prompt if in HF call)
    • Manage communications from driver
      • Accept multi-modal input from driver
      • Wait for input so driver does not feel compelled to respond
  • QoS levels for different types of communications (e.g., collision avoidance, non-critical app prompt, etc.)
  • Availability and reliability requirements for application services
  • Mechanisms for co-ordination of subsystems to optimize driving performance
    • Vehicle terminal capabilities
      • Auditory display type
      • Visual display type
    • Communicate vehicle state/driver workload to far end application
  • Augmented reality for improving driving performance (e.g., head-up display, auditory tracking of emergency vehicles, etc.)
  • Application design best practices
  • Application-specific design requirements (e.g., driving, Nav system, etc.)
  • Liaison with other SDOs, government/industry forums, organisations of persons with disabilities and drivers with disabilities

Duration: from May 2011 to December 2012

3. Leadership

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman will be appointed by ITU-T Study Group 12. The Focus Group will appoint any other leadership, as needed.

4. Participation

The Focus Group may include experts from ITU-T members and other non-member organizations (such as administrations, network operators, manufacturers, industry trade organisation, user groups, …)

A list of participants is to be maintained and reported to ITU-T Study Group 12.

5. Financing

The Focus Group will be self-funded by its members. Meetings will be funded by volunteer hosting organizations.

6. Administrative support

The TSB Secretariat will provide basic administrative support from ITU-T headquarters.

7. Meeting logistics

The frequency and location of meetings will be determined by the Focus Group. Electronic document handling will be used as much as possible.

8. Working language

The working languages will be determined by agreement of the Focus Group participants.

9. Technical contributions electronically and by face-to-face

Any Focus Group member may submit a technical contribution. Electronic submissions are strongly encouraged.

10. Patent policy

The Focus Group will follow the ITU-T practice.

11. Deliverables

Deliverables produced by the Focus Group may include the following:

  1. Input for a new ITU-T Recommendation on Automotive User Interface requirements
  2. Input for a new ITU-T Recommendation on mechanisms for managing the Situational Awareness of drivers
  3. Input on a new ITU-T Recommendation on an automotive interface (e.g., APIs) for applications external to vehicle gateway

12. Approval of deliverables

The Focus Group will follow a consensus process.

13. Distribution of documentation

The Focus Group will distribute its documentation electronically via Email and the ITU-T web site.

14. Working methods

The Focus Group will be contribution –driven. It will work electronically and by face-to-face meetings. Meetings will be held as determined by the Focus Group and will be announced in accordance with ITU-T procedures.

15. Progress reports

As required by ITU-T procedures, the Focus Group will report progress at ITU-T Study Group 12 meetings.

16. Announcement of Focus Group formation

The formation of the Focus Group will be announced in cooperation with ITU-T Study Group 12 and TSAG via ITU-T publications and other means, including communication with the other organizations and/or experts, technical journals and the World Wide Web.

17. Action plan

The following activities are planned to help progress the work of FG Distraction:

  1. Identify existing SDOs, government/industry forums, companies, academic institutions, and subject matter experts that are actively involved in this area; then determine the most appropriate relationship with each.
  2. Make these entities aware of the work of FG Distraction and seek collaborative relationships through formal liaisons, personal communications, and other marketing channels.
  3. Hold joint or co-located meetings with other organized efforts when possible to foster information exchange and relationship building.
  4. Organize special session on Driver Distraction at ITU-T Fully Networked Car Workshop 2012.
  5. Revise work plan, if necessary, based on review of existing ITU-T Recommendations, current ITU-T work activities, external standardization efforts, FG Distraction membership, and contributions to FG Distraction.
  6. Co-ordinate standardization work with other entities though formal liaisons and personal communications.
  7. Raise awareness of the work of FG Distraction through conference presentations, blogs, press releases, and other marketing channels.
  8. Identify new techniques and technologies that can be leveraged to achieve the objective of FG Distraction.
  9. Provide input to the various ITU-T Study Groups that can be used to update existing ITU-T Recommendations.
  10. Suggest new ITU-T Recommendations; and propose text when possible.

18. Milestones

A preliminary set of milestones include:

  •  Third meeting 12-13 December 2011
    • Finalize details of each of the 3 main deliverables
    • Develop subtasks and timing associated with each deliverable
  •  Fourth meeting March or April 2012
  •  ITU-T Workshop on Driver Distraction (special session of Fully Networked Car Workshop) March 7-8, 2012
  • Fifth meeting May or June 2012
  • Sixth meeting August 2012
  • Seventh meeting December 2012

These milestones are subject to change due to modifications of the work plan caused by FG Distraction membership and contributions.

17. Collaboration

Collaboration with relevant SDOs, government/industry forums, companies, academic institutions, and subject matter experts is critical to the success of FG Distraction. Close cooperation with FG CarCOM on speech services will be required. The membership of FG Distraction will determine other relevant entities to collaborate with, and the type of collaboration that should take place. A preliminary list of organized efforts with which such collaboration should take place is well documented in the ITU-T Technology Watch Report on Decreasing Driver Distraction (