ISO 2575:2010, Road vehicles – Symbols for controls, indicators and tell-tales, communicates information to drivers through a collection of symbols designed for use in passenger cars, light trucks, heavy commercial trucks and buses, regardless of their make and model.

Based on international consensus reached within the major automotive manufacturers, these ISO symbols reduce the confusion that could be created if multiple, conflicting symbols were used in vehicles.

The updated ISO 2575 standard for the first time offers users a CD-ROM containing all the graphical art to help ensure the symbols are actually displayed correctly in the vehicle. The art will be available in 3 different formats (Adobe Illustrator [ai], Encapsulated Postscript [eps], and Drawing Interchange Format [dxf]) to meet the needs of any vehicle graphics designer.

"Not only are we providing the real vector graphic art, we are also providing users a complete list of the meanings of each symbol," said Dr. Gary Rupp, Project Leader of the new standard. "Vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers will certainly want to obtain the CD-ROM. The information it contains should help ensure that any symbol that is displayed in your vehicle will be correctly drawn and will convey the correct intended meaning.”

The new standard compiles over 350 symbols (i.e. conventional signs) for use on controls, indicators and tell-tales. It also provides guidance on the proper colours of optical tell-tales, which inform the driver of either correct operation or malfunctioning of the related devices.

For example, red symbolizes danger to persons or very serious damage to equipment, immediate or imminent. Certain colours are also used for specific tell-tales, such as the colour blue for high beams.

The 8th edition of ISO 2575:2010 cancels and replaces ISO 2575:2004, which has been updated with new symbols for functions added in the light of evolving technology.

ISO 2575:2010, Road vehicles – Symbols for controls, indicators and tell-tales, was prepared by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 22, Road vehicles, subcommittee SC 13, Ergonomics applicable to road vehicles. The standard and CD-ROM cost 158 Swiss francs each and are available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing & Communication department (see right-hand column).