The International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT), has announced an initiative to bring an enhanced audio-visual experience into our vehicles. Through the new
ITU Focus Group on Vehicular Multimedia, the automotive and ICT industries will have the opportunity to work together and capitalize on the latest advances in connectivity and multimedia technologies. The focus group is open to all interested parties, and will explore such innovations as intelligent voice interaction, interconnection between vehicular terminals and smartphones, and connectivity for high-precision navigation.
Connected vehicles and automated driving are fast moving onto public roads, holding great promise to improve road safety, reduce congestion and emissions, and enhance the mobility of the elderly and persons with disabilities. Carmakers are also looking to recent advances in ICT to provide consumers with the highly interactive multimedia experience to which they have become accustomed at home and the office.
"ITU is supporting the convergence of vehicles and ICT with road safety and data security as our top priorities," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. "This new ITU focus group will build on over a decade of ITU experience in advancing vehicular multimedia innovation, which includes a strong focus on minimizing driver distraction from these new technologies."
The ITU focus group will identify where new ITU standards for vehicular multimedia could take advantage of the integration of satellite and terrestrial communications that has enabled low-cost, wide-area coverage featuring high interactivity.
"Vehicles are becoming our third living space, alongside our homes and places of work," said Jun Li, Chairman of the new ITU focus group and Deputy Secretary General of China's Telematics Industry Application Alliance (TIAA). "In recent advances in multimedia, matched with the convergence of communications technologies and the ubiquitous coverage that results, carmakers see significant potential for a new wave of innovation in vehicular multimedia."
The ITU focus group will support the standardization work of its parent ITU Study Group for Multimedia (SG16), through a review of the standards ecosystem supporting vehicular multimedia, and analysis of emerging trends and open standardization questions. It will also elaborate new use cases of vehicular multimedia and their underlying technical requirements with respect to architectures, interfaces, protocols, data formats, interoperability, performance evaluation, security and the protection of personal data. The result will be the development of a standardization roadmap for innovation in vehicular multimedia development and use.
The ITU Focus Group on Vehicular Multimedia is coordinated through ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Sector – which works with ITU's 193 Member States and more than 800 industry and academic members to establish global standards for emerging ICT innovations. It was proposed through SG16 by one of ITU's newest members, TIAA – an association of carmakers and ICT companies innovating in the interest of smart mobility.
For more information on the Focus Group and how to participate, contact the secretariat of ITU-T Study Group 16 at