*The text below is an adapted version of my opening remarks at this morning’s ITU Workshop on “The Turing Test for Autonomous Driving – A Global Performance Standard for AI on our Roads,” held at the ITU Telecom World event in Budapest, Hungary.
The automotive industry is undergoing extraordinary transformation.
The future of transport looks to be electric; highly automated; and – increasingly – shared.
This transformation is ambitious, and this ambition is very welcome.
In mobility, we can impact billions of people’s lives for the better.
We can save countless numbers of lives. We can improve environmental sustainability. And we can expand access to the many opportunities that mobility brings.
New technologies are at the heart of this transformation, and international standardization will be essential to ensure that these technologies are deployed efficiently and at scale.
That is why the ITU membership includes Volkswagen Group and Hyundai – and a diverse range of other automotive industry players such as China’s Telematics Industry Application Alliance, Continental, Bosch, BlackBerry, Tata Communications and Mitsubishi Electric.
By joining the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, ICTs, they are helping to shape international standards that protect and encourage key investments, improve road safety and help build intelligent transport systems.
“The future of mobility will be crafted in collaboration by the public and private sectors … and the many new market segments emerging at the intersection of vehicles and ICT.”
ITU addresses intelligent transport in our standardization work for radiocommunications, security, multimedia, and performance and quality of service.
Road safety and automotive cybersecurity are our top priorities.
Our discussions today will have a close connection with road safety.
This workshop is co-organized by ITU and ADA, the Autonomous Drivers Alliance.
Together we aim to stimulate global dialogue around performance standards for the AI ‘drivers’ steering autonomous vehicles.
This morning we will discuss the state of the art in autonomous driving technology. This afternoon, we will work on the first iteration of a roadmap towards the establishment of performance standards for AI on our roads.
Our ultimate aim is to propose a Turing Test for the road.
We might think of this as a form of ‘driving license’ for autonomous vehicles.
This Turing Test would define a minimum performance threshold that can be standardized and harmonized internationally.
We will require contributions from many different communities, and here I thank you for your support.
We will also draw strength from our partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, UNECE, the body responsible for global transport regulation.
We have worked together for more than 10 years, and UNECE now looks to ITU for technical standards in support of transport regulations.
We see enormous potential for new technologies to support a revolution in mobility.
But achieving this potential will call for extensive collaboration, at the national, regional and international level.
The future of mobility will be crafted in collaboration by the public and private sectors; the automotive and ICT industries and their respective regulators; and the many new market segments emerging at the intersection of vehicles and ICT.
By moving forward together, innovating in partnership, we can build public trust in autonomous vehicles – public trust that will be critical to their success.