ITU, ISO form joint standards initiative on intelligent transport systems

Leading global standards organizations ITU and ISO have announced the creation of a partnership in the burgeoning field of intelligent transport systems (ITS).


Leading global standards organizations ITU and ISO have announced the creation of a partnership in the burgeoning field of intelligent transport systems (ITS).

Industry experts who gathered for the recent ISO/ITU/IEC Fully Networked Car event at the Geneva Motor Show agreed that the next twenty years will see a huge shift towards ITS. Today’s communications capabilities give the potential for vehicles to foresee and avoid collisions, navigate the quickest route to their destination, make use of up-to-the-minute traffic reports, identify the nearest available parking slot, minimize their carbon emissions and provide multimedia communications.

But while considerable resources have been invested in R&D, the lack of global standards is widely regarded as a major impediment to large scale deployment of ITS services and applications, ITU said in a press release Monday.

The involvement of international standards bodies is seen as critical to easing bottlenecks resulting – in part – from poor communication between overlapping sectors; automotive, ITS players, telecoms suppliers and operators. The new Joint Task Force for ITS Communications will engineer better collaboration between these sectors and pool resources within ITU and ISO, linking existing work and avoiding duplication. 

ITU and ISO both have a long history of work in ITS, and have maintained long standing cooperation on the creation of standards in the field. The new agreement cements this relationship, allowing for greater coordination of their work programs and harmonization of all outputs.

“There is a will from manufacturers to implement these technologies, but as yet there has been no real breakthrough in terms of the technical standards needed to roll this out on a global scale,” Dr. Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, said. “Vehicle manufacturers do not want to create different versions of this technology for every different market. They do not want regional or national standards. They want global standards, and through this initiative ITU and ISO are proving that we are willing and able to provide them.”

“There is a need for harmonization of standardization of essential technologies to provide a solid base for further innovation and the economies of scale for commercialization of technologies,” Rob Steele, ISO Secretary-General, said. “Most interestingly of all, is the urgent need to consider the interoperability of all of this technology not only in the vehicle, but in the wider infrastructure that is needed to support this revolution.”

Steele said the industry “should not and will not wait while standards organizations fight amongst themselves, compete or try to decide who will develop that standard. They want to be listened to and have their needs for international standard solutions met.”