Innovation is moving at a rapid pace within the automotive industry, with autonomous driving and connected cars leading the way. Safety and security, however, remain big concerns for manufacturers.
“Every year 1.3 million people die on the road and 50 million people are hurt on the road, so I think it would be a mistake to only concentrate on autonomous and connected cars,” says Jean Todt, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety and President of FIA.
Last week’s Symposium on the Future Networked Car at the Geneva International Motor Show gathered experts from the field to address opportunities and challenges in the industry. ITU caught up with Jean Todt to discuss the importance of road safety and implementing safety measures for autonomous and connected vehicles.
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Responsible connectivity, he believes, could be essential to improving congestion and fighting pollution. With proper policies in place, significant results could be achieved. But, change takes time and there is a big difference between innovative ideas and actual applications.
When it comes to road safety in the developing world, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. He cited lack of communication, lack of law enforcement and poor road infrastructure as contributing factors leading to reduced road safety.
“Simple things like buckling the seatbelt, having a proper helmet, not speeding, not drinking and driving, not texting and driving, will allow to achieve the sustainable development target to halve the number of victims by 2020” – Jean Todt, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety and President of FIA
Mr. Todt’s key takeaway?
The automotive industry has much to look forward to but all sectors must work together to ensure a safe and secure experience for drivers and pedestrians – and for all of us who share the roads.