Questions Posed by the Arrival of the Future Networked Car

imageIntelligent transport systems (ITS) and automated driving are fast moving towards widespread commercialization and market acceptance. High levels of automation – the penultimate step to fully automated driving – are expected on the road by 2020, holding great promise to improve road safety, reduce congestion and emissions, and increase the accessibility of personal mobility to the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The Symposium on the Future Networked Car within the Geneva International Motor Show, 5 March 2015, will bring together representatives of the automotive and ICT industries, governments and their regulators, and international automobile associations to analyze the status and future of ICTs’ integration in vehicles. The Symposium is organized by ITU in collaboration with the Transport Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

There are a range of questions to be considered en route to the commercial availability of connected, highly automated vehicles…

The connected lifestyle that we have become accustomed to is moving into our cars. Consumers are calling for their cars to provide a gateway to the Information Society, but how will this be achieved safely, without exacerbating driver distraction?

Networked cars will communicate with other vehicles, surrounding infrastructure, emergency services and more. Standardization could save the automotive industry billions of dollars in the long run, but what is the most appropriate means of engaging the myriad of relevant players in an open, impartial technical standardization effort?

Data on drivers’ driving habits and a car’s performance will be collected and communicated constantly. Software and applications will be uploaded to vehicles in much the same way as they are to a smartphone. What are the standardized mechanisms needed to safeguard the security of data? What is the required level of privacy in a world where real-time data analysis can identify defective vehicle parts early enough to recall vehicles before an accident ever occurs?

Automation is here. The technology is racing ahead, and regulators are tasked with developing regulation for a brave new world of highly automated vehicles. Today’s road regulation requires that the driver always has control over the vehicle, but what does this mean in the age of automation? Will highly automated vehicles travel on different roads to those with lesser levels of automation? And, perhaps the most contentious question, who bears insurance liability in the case of accidents involving automated driving?

The programme of the Future Networked Car symposium features leading experts in the ITS field, ready to interrogate these and many more questions from the perspectives of business, technology and regulation.

The Symposium will be followed by an open meeting of the Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 6 March 2015. The meeting will be an opportunity to translate some of the Symposium’s discussions and recommendations into clear actions for the road ahead.

 

imageChaesub Lee is the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, following his election at the 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Republic of Korea. He took office on 1st January 2015. He acted as Vice-Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 13 ‘Future Networks and Cloud’ from 2001 until 2008, becoming Chairman of that group in 2009.

 

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