The three leading international standardization organizations are bringing together industry and government experts on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to map out the standards needed by this sector for facilitating the worldwide deployment of the innovative technologies which it has developed. An international conference with the theme of, "Intelligent Transport Systems - The Road to Future Standards", will take place on 26 June 2001 at the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. It is being organized by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and its partners IEC (International Electrontechnical Commission) and ITU (International Telecommunication Untion) and is under the patronage of the UN/ECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe).

The conference aims to strengthen the linkage between the priorities of the ITS sector and the standards which ISO develops for it. To achieve this, experts will be participating from major private sector corporations such as Motorola, Siemens and General Motors and, from the public sector, representatives of governmental organizations such as the US Department of Transportation, the European Commission and the International Telecommunication Union.

The results of the conference will guide the future orientation of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 204, Transport information and control systems, in which 19 countries participate, with another 27 as observers.

"Intelligent Transport Systems" is the generic name given to a wide range of systems resulting from the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) to transport.

Examples of ITS include traffic information and control, automatic vehicle identification, fee and toll collection, vehicle fleet management, pollution warning and control, hazard warning and control, navigation and communication. The conference is therefore of potential interest to representatives of the automotive, electronics, telecommunications and financial sectors, as well as to government agencies.

"The ITS sector is young, dynamic and at a crossroads in its development," commented ISO Assistant Secretary-General, Mr. Daniele Gerundino. "Most of the pioneering developments have been proprietary ones by innovative companies and the public initiatives have tended to be national or regional.

"The coming phase of ITS will be marked by the implementation and deployment of the technologies developed. As in other ICT fields, users demand compatibility and interoperability of systems. Companies able to offer compatible technology worldwide will have the edge. As far as the public sector is concerned, roads do not stop at frontiers and the future development will be of continent-wide traffic management systems.

"ISO can facilitate interoperability and seamless transport systems by developing standards on aspects such as terminology, interfaces, data transfer and communications. By a close cooperation with the ITS players, ISO can leverage the efforts of the private sector innovators and provide a stable technical platform for governmental and inter-governmental programmes.

"The 26 June conference should therefore prove to be an `entry' sign on the highway to the Intelligent Transport Systems that will in the future provide levels of safety, efficiency and service which are hard to imagine today."

The conference is aimed at decision makers in the ITS sector. Because of the conference venue, attendees will need to fill out a United Nations registration form. Due to limited capacity, early registration is encouraged. Interested parties are advised to pre-register via fax or e-mail. All registrations are subject to confirmation by ISO.