Connected vehicles and automated driving are quickly moving onto public roads across Asia, promising to improve road safety and reduce congestion, slash emissions, and increase access to personal mobility in the region.


New heavy-duty Shacman M3000 electric trucks from the Shaanxi Automobile Group Co.,
a Chinese bus and truck manufacturer headquartered in the city of Xi'an, 2018 (Photo courtesy C-ITS)




General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said earlier this year, “We have the ambition, the talent and the technology to create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”


To advance Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), the vehicle industry and the information and communication technology (ICT) industry continue to work towards convergence.


For instance, the International Forum on Intelligent Transport Systems brought together high-powered executives from the automotive and communications industries in Nanjing, China September 6-7 to discuss the latest advances in connected, automated driving and what they will mean for business, technology and regulation.


The forum was co-organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations, and the ITS Industry Alliance of China (C-ITS). Participation was free of charge and open to all.


The Forum explored the relationship between telecommunication and ITS, showcasing research towards next generation mobility.


Its focus was vehicle connectivity, automation, electrification, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and data protection, and infrastructure innovation in smartcities.


Participants analyzed the crucial roles of governments and private sector in enhancing connectivity and cybersecurity as well as the importance of studies in the field of new energy and artificial intelligence.


Fresh business opportunities and new scenarios that will benefit the industry, consumers and government agencies are expected to result.


The future ITS includes autonomous and environmentally friendly vehicles, powered by alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.


Madan Regmi, economic affairs officer with the Transport Division of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) said the Commission has developed a holistic and visual tool that analyzes the status of a city’s transport. The tool, called the Sustainable Urban Transport Index (SUTI), facilitates improvements in urban transport systems, and promotes informed policy making on transportation.


Pilot applications of SUTI have been completed in four Asian cities: Colombo, Greater Jakarta, Hanoi and Kathmandu. The tool produced a visual model that can be easily understood and helps policy makers make evidence-based decisions. The pilot cities are already using the results of SUTI analysis.


In Beijing, Ge Wei, director of the Science and Technology Department of the Beijing Municipal Transportation Commission, has told C-ITS that the development of Beijing's auto-driving related industries is relatively mature, and the auto-driving industry chain has basically been realized.


There are many self-driving R&D units in Beijing, Ge explained. The traditional vehicle manufacturers such as Beiqi, Beiqi New Energy, Beiqi Foton, Beiqi Benz, Changan Automobile and Internet companies such as Baidu, Jingdong, Zhanshi and Tucson have developed autonomous vehicles.


Now, C-ITS says, there is an urgent need for on-road testing of self-driving vehicles.


But before automated vehicles take over the roads, greater coordination between the automotive and communications industries is needed. The ITU Workshop on Security Aspects of Intelligent Transport Systems in Geneva in August 2017 concluded that an "ecosystem view" of the ITS security challenge is needed because efforts to ensure the security of connected, automated vehicles remains "disjointed."


The 2018 Forum in Nanjing was followed by a meeting of the Collaboration on ITS Communication Standards on September 7, an open international platform to advance the development of a globally harmonized set of ITS communication standards.



By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

September 10, 2018