The connected vehicle

Dr Jonathan Harrod Booth, Chair at BSI for the British Standards EPL/278 Intelligent Transport Systems Committee, talks about the increasing complexity of the connected vehicle and the importance of global discussion in standards development.

 The connected car communicates with other vehicles and surrounding infrastructure. It can transfer data on aspects such as driving conditions, vehicle status, and cargo monitoring; sending out and receiving information on everything from traffic signal timing to what variable message signs are displaying at the roadside and the status of multiple neighboring connected vehicles.

Cars are perhaps the most complex ‘mobile’ devices that people own and one of the biggest challenges is in ensuring that a vehicle’s connectivity remains unbroken, wherever in the world it is being driven. This means that the industry needs to look beyond regional and national levels, and work together globally to make sure its products have the widest possible reach.

The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for more than £71.6b.

There is much international discussion and teamwork around developing standards for the connected vehicle, with important and ongoing collaboration between several standards development organizations (ISO, ITU, CEN, ETSI, SAE, IEEE) to provide a rich landscape of appropriate standards.

Predicting the future is not easy. In an ideal world, infrastructures will have the capacity to communicate with all vehicles on the road at any one time. However, although continuous connectivity is the ultimate goal, there is a pressing need to develop technology that allows breaks in connectivity without affecting safety or performance.

In 2015 the UK's car exports totalled £27.7B responsible for 9.6% of all export revenue (OEC).

The habits of over 100 years of driving are about to change drastically and this will have major implications for wider society. Motoring legislation and liability laws will need to be adapted around new systems and the public will need reassuring. And it is by working together, across country boundaries, to enrich existing and develop new international standards that the industry can clearly demonstrate it has the public’s safety and best interests at heart.