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ITU part 1: Celebrating communication’s progress. And mobility’s future

150 years. That’s how long ago the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN agency for information and communication technologies (ICT) was founded. Back when the most common forms of communication involved ships, telegraph services – and a lot of patience.

Today the organisation’s mission is clear: to connect all the world’s people and “protect and support everyone’s fundamental right to communicate.” What does this have to do with mobility? A great deal, as it turns out.

“Innovation and Intelligent Transport Systems”

As part of its 150th anniversary celebration, ITU devoted the month of March to the topic “Innovation and Intelligent Transport Systems” – car and mobility concepts of the future. As we’ve talked about before, so-called autonomous cars have the potential to reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and offer millions of commuters a more pleasant, eco-friendly ride to and from work, among other benefits. And driverless cars are just one way in which ICT will help enable new mobility paradigms in the future.

The Future Networked Car

Within the Geneva International Motor Show, ITU and UNECE co-hosted the 10th annual Symposium on the Future Networked Car. The event brought together prominent figures from the automotive and ICT industries, governments, motor sport and international automobile associations. Their target: discuss, debate and explore the ins, the outs and the future of connected cars. Check out video footage and presentations from the event here.

ICT innovations are obviously thrusting mobility into a new era. But how quickly and to what extent is still up in the air. For now, we wish ITU a happy 150 years!

Interested to learn more about ITU’s work? Each year the agency releases its “Measuring the Information Society” report, which includes further examples of how data and communication can help optimise transportation of tomorrow.