Artificial Intelligence | Connected Car | Emerging Trends
May 31, 2019

Smart mobility: How ITU is working with new automotive members to transform transportation

By Malcolm Johnson, ITU Deputy Secretary-General

This week’s AI for Good Global Summit has focused on how Artificial Intelligence can help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are very ambitious. They include ending poverty and hunger, providing quality education for all, bringing clean water and sanitation to everyone and much more — all by 2030.

Some of the targets related to the goals are even more ambitious. For example Target 3.6 is to halve the number of deaths and injuries on roads by 2020.

These challenges demand bold, decisive action, and the actions being taken by the automotive industry certainly fit this description.

Big changes, big potential for good

The auto industry is undergoing extraordinary transformation with the future of transport clearly being electric, highly automated, and – increasingly – shared.

Future smart and safe mobility will impact billions of people’s lives for the better.

Not only will it reduce deaths and injuries on roads, it will improve environmental sustainability, and create the many opportunities that expanded access to mobility will bring.

Technical standards will be essential

New technologies are at the heart of this transformation, and technical standardization will be essential to ensure that they are deployed efficiently and at scale.

This is why carmakers such as Volkswagen Group and Hyundai have joined ITU as well as a diverse range of other automotive industry players such as China’s Telematics Industry Application Alliance, Continental, Bosch, BlackBerry, Tata Communications and Mitsubishi Electric.

The automotive and ICT industries and their respective regulators, and the many new market segments emerging at the intersection of vehicles and ICT, must work together.

By joining ITU, they are helping develop the international standards that will protect and encourage key investments, improve road safety and help build future intelligent transport systems.

ITU’s international standards ensure interoperability, security and accessibility and reduce costs and prices through economies of scale.

Mutual trust for large-scale investment

Our open, inclusive standardization processes build the mutual trust necessary for large-scale investment, and additionally covers multimedia, quality of service and the use of the radio spectrum.

Amongst other important decisions, ITU’s World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) later this year in Egypt is expected to allocate the new spectrum for 5G above 24GHz that will be essential to provide the capacity, reliability and low latency for wide-scale implementation of these technologies.

But we cannot work alone. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals emphasize the importance of partnerships and this is something that ITU is continually striving for with many different players.

Working together for progress

In particular, we have worked in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the body responsible for global transport regulation, for more than 10 years.

Through this partnership, ITU is developing the technical standards to support UNECE’s vehicle regulations.

We encourage more extensive collaboration, at the national, regional and international level both 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, must work together.

By innovating in partnership we will build public trust in smart mobility systems – public trust that will be critical for their success.

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ITU is the United Nations' specialized agency for information and communication technology. Any opinions expressed and statistics presented by third parties do not necessarily reflect the views of ITU.

Smart mobility: How ITU is working with new automotive members to transform transportation

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