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Standards to usher in autonomous networked driving

ITU debate focused on Innovative ICT for the Future Networked Car

Geneva, 11 March 2014 – Willing to hand over your keys and entrust your car to drive you from A to B? Participants at ITU’s Future Networked Car symposium at the Geneva Motor Show declared that within the next decade some of us will be doing just this.

A dynamic high-level discussion involving industry, international agencies and motorsports bodies focused on Innovation for the Future Car. The televised debate, anchored by former racing driver and presenter of the well-known Fifth Gear TV programme Tiff Needell, included Johan de Nysschen, President of the Infiniti Motor Company; Jeffrey Owens, Chief Technology Officer of Delphi Automotive; Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA); ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré; Eva Molnar representing the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE); and T. Russell Shields, Chair of Ygomi.

Experts participating in the technical sessions agreed that the technological components for automated driving have reached a level of maturity that will allow rollout in the near future. Agreements on international technical standards and putting in place regulatory requirements are already under way to make it a reality.

Participants called for ITU, in collaboration with UNECE, to host a dialogue of senior executives of vehicle manufacturers to identify the activities needed to consider future steps to realize the potential of fully autonomous driving.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré, said, “We are on the cusp of a true revolution in personal transportation. Combining the will of the vehicle and ICT industries we can create a paradigm shift as profound as that brought about by the introduction of mobile telephony. The time is right to address the final challenges so that this incredible possibility is accessible to everyone. I am proud that industry is entrusting ITU with this important work.”

Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), stated, “Connected cars are revolutionizing our daily mobility by providing safer, cleaner and smarter ways to travel. With car sales rising rapidly in emerging markets, and road fatalities also expected to rise, our goal should be to ensure that more cars worldwide can benefit from advanced technologies. We are committed to working with all relevant players from industry, standards and regulatory sectors, to make sure this next-generation vision is realized.”

“Fully autonomous driving offers several advantages to drivers, road systems and the environment,” said Malcolm Johnson, Director of ITU’s Standardization Bureau. “It could lead to fewer collisions; better traffic flow; shorter journey times; and the removal of constraints such as age, disability and parking efficiency. To realize such benefits, it will be first necessary to address issues including software reliability, legal frameworks and cybersecurity.” The industry is expected to move from trials to commercial deployment of automated driving in certain environments, such as motorways, within the next six years.

A debate moderated by Laura Herman focused on achieving global road safety, leveraging the convergence of ICTs with automotive technology to achieve zero road deaths. The discussion included Jean Todt and Scott Ratzan of Anheuser-Bush InBev, which supported the two-day Future Networked Car symposium.

Videos of high-level dialogues: http://youtu.be/rKYJck1gSqE and http://youtu.be/gZoVKGyVla0

For more information, please contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU
telephone +41 22 730 5046
mobile +41 79 249 4861
email sanjay.acharya@itu.int  
Toby Johnson
Senior Communication Officer, ITU
telephone +41 22 730 5877
mobile +41 79 249 4868
email toby.johnson@itu.int

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