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How standards could help reduce danger of driver distraction to be featured at Fully Networked Car workshop

(PresseBox) (Geneva, ) International Standards could help reduce the dangers of "driver distraction" -caused by using mobile phones and other communication equipment at the wheel - which can have lethal consequences.

"Managing driver distraction" is one of the main themes to be addressed in the Fully Networked Car workshop organized by the partners in the World Standards Cooperation at the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show.

Given the explosion in sales of mobile phones and on-board information and communication technology (ICT) systems, drivers are now commonly making calls, texting, and operating GPS navigators and other equipment while at the wheel of moving vehicles, increasing the risk of traffic accidents.

Driver distraction is now recognized by many countries as a growing public health issue. For example, in the USA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2009, 17 % of all crashes in the country involved distracted driving and was responsible for nearly 5 500 fatalities.

Standards and design guidelines for ICT systems and devices, whether portable or fixed in the vehicle, can contribute to decreasing driver distraction, allowing the driver to focus on operating the vehicle and the road ahead.

"Managing driver distraction" will therefore be discussed at the sixth edition of the Fully Networked Car workshop which will take place on 2-3 March 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland. The workshop is organized every year at the Geneva show by the WSC partnership comprising the International Union of Telecommunication (ITU), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization).

The event will also cover the following themes:

- The automotive industry's perspective and ICT solutions
- ICTs and electric vehicles - their environmental impact
- Wireless systems and technologies.

The workshop brings together key players and major industry representatives involved in the development of ICT technologies for the motor industry and related standards. They will be discussing how the standardization organizations can best collaborate to meet the industry's needs in aspects such as interoperability.

Experts and executives from the automotive industry, ICT community, governments, research and development institutes and academia will be sharing share their vision and strategies, especially on today's communication capabilities that give the potential for cars 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.

ISO has developed more than 800 standards for the automotive sector through its two technical committees active in the issues addressed by the workshop: ISO/TC 22, Road vehicles and ISO/TC 204, Intelligent transport systems.

ISO/TC 204 has developed more than 100 standards for information, communication and control systems in the field of urban and rural surface transportation, traveller information, traffic management, public transport, commercial transport, emergency services and commercial services in the ITS field. In-vehicle transport information and control systems are part of the scope of standardization covered by ISO/TC 22