ITSPAC Subcommittee Recommendations Template

Denaro, Sussman    March 30, 2011

Global Harmonization       May 6, 2011-- Vondale et al

Subcommittee Charge

State the charge for the subcommittee as amended by you. The charge originally given should be treated as simply a starting point.

The ITS Advisory Subcommittee on Global Harmonization of Standards was formed to gather information, evaluate options and provide recommendations on effective ways to ensure that ITS standards are harmonized globally to promote the efficient and rapid deployment of ITS technologies and to control the cost and complexity of maintaining those standards once they are deployed.

Subcommittee deliberations and findings

Narrative description of key discussion points, conclusions, and rationale behind those conclusions.  Possibly mention ideas that were discarded from consideration and why.

The ITS Advisory Subcommittee on Global Harmonization of Standards discussed the critical importance of globally harmonized ITS standards and the role they play in a more efficient and faster deployment of ITS technologies.  The subcommittee discussed the fact that quick action is needed to avoid the development of regionally-based standards that are inconsistent with standards developed in other regions.  It was noted that the US government has reached an agreement with the EC and the government of Japan on the need to develop harmonized standards.  It was agreed that a wide range of groups will need to work together to ensure that harmonization occurs, including governments, vehicle manufacturers, other ITS-related industries, trade associations such as ITS America and standards organizations such as ISO, SAE, ETSI, IEEE, ITU, etc. 

Significant work on the development of ITS standards currently is underway and, absent strong direction and leadership to encourage harmonization, those standards will not be fully harmonized.  Obstacles to globally harmonized ITS standards were identified as competition among certain standards organizations working to develop standards, a European directive (Mandate 453) that is driving short timing on standards development in Europe that is being used as an excuse not to harmonize, and lack of an identified forum to develop harmonized standards (such as WP29. ) 

The subcommittee agreed that not all standards need to be harmonized but an important first step was to identify and prioritize those areas that were critical for harmonization.  It was agreed that it is more important to develop standards that are appropriate, accurate and harmonized than to rush to complete standards to an artificial timing. The subcommittee discussed the need to work with other organizations like ITS America, OICA, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and others to develop a coalition to promote harmonization.


Recommendations can take on various forms. Recommendations might address gaps in the JPO ITS Program, improvements to aspects of the research, scope changes, or simply specify priorities and emphases needed to maximize the chances of success. Recommendations could be “guiding principles” that JPO should use in building their programs.

The charge of the overall ITSPAC is to evaluate whether the planned JPO research activities (1) will enhance the state of the art or state of the practice, (2) whether the planned ITS technologies are likely to be deployed by users and the barriers to deployment and, (3) the appropriate roles for the government and private sector in investing in the research and technologies being considered. We should be responsive to that charge.

 However, our recommendations should not be limited these dimensions, but can and should address all matters relating to the study, development and implementation of ITS and the JPO’s program needs, objectives, plans, approaches, concepts and progress.  Furthermore, while we should be sure to address the JPO program, we can also comment on the DOT and broader related organizations as well, especially if they are critical to the success of RITA’s and the JPO’s goals. 

Provide concise recommendations, each followed by short explanation of the factors considered that led to the recommendation.

Recommendation 1

The ITS JPO should make a clear public statement that globally harmonized ITS standards are critical to the efficient and rapid deployment of ITS technologies.  The statement should also make clear that the quality of standards and the degree to which they are harmonized is more important than any regionally-imposed dates for completing them.

Discussion.  In order to make a clear public statement, the JPO should identify harmonization of ITS standards as a critical priority in its written statements about ITS technologies and officially add it to its work plan.

Recommendation 2

The ITS JPO should play a visible, leading role in encouraging the development of globally harmonized standards by adequately funding organizations and programs that are designed to result in harmonized ITS standards, and applying strong political pressure to standards organizations and governments to harmonize such standards.   Once harmonization is officially added to the work plan, the JPO should ensure adequate funding.

Discussion.  In order to play a visible, leading role, the JPO should provide adequate funding to appropriate organizations to develop harmonized standards and apply pressure where appropriate.  The appropriate office/department within the US government should be identified to assume leadership of this important issue.  It is also critical that this issue be given adequate senior level political support to this issue.  The other regions are invested at the political level and the U.S. government should be as well.

Recommendatation 3

The ITS JPO should fund an analysis of the costs and benefits of harmonized and non-harmonized ITS standards.

In order to demonstrate the need for harmonization, the JPO should fund an analysis that demonstrates the harm of non-harmonized standards. 

Recommendation 4

The ITS JPO should assure that the U.S. – EU Harmonization Task Force and the U.S. – Japan Harmonization Task Force (and any other existing regional collaborations working on harmonized standards) are properly supported by both US government and industry personnel who are actively engaged in the standards work.  Further, these groups should meet more frequently than they do at present.  Further still, the U.S. should work to collapse the various regional Harmonization Task Forces into one global Harmonization Task Force.

Discussion:  At present, the EU and Japanese participants to their respective regional Harmonization Task Forces with the U.S. are populated by a good mix of Government and industry personnel.  This allows them to address harmonization issues at all levels.  In contrast, U.S. participants are all Government (and direct Government contractors), by decree of the Government itself, which limits Task Force discussions to only the highest level issues.  Representatives from both the EU and Japan have stated that they would strongly prefer a mix of Government and industry personnel and that without this mix the discussions are often inhibited in face-to-face meetings.

Recommendation 5

The ITS JPO should work together with industry and others to develop a list of key V to X standards that should be prioritized for harmonization.  This prioritized list should then be shared with governments in Europe and Japan to obtain their buy-in and support.  The progress of these standards can then be tracked through the various standards organizations and pressure applied to ensure that they are being developed in a harmonized fashion.  Since V to X will encompass a broad range of standards, the ITS JPO should work together with industry and others to promote expanded standardization of ITS standards so that a clear message is sent to standards organizations about the critical importance of harmonization.

Discussion:  Presently, a variety of international and regional standards organizations are developing ITS standards that will impact the ability to efficiently and effectively implement V to X.  Absent strong leadership and commitment, these standards will be developed regionally and will result in inefficiencies and costly duplication of efforts, delaying deployment of V to X.  The US government should play a key role in supporting the identification and prioritization of key standards and support harmonization of those standards.  The US government also should work with Europe and Japan is this effort.  While support for key V to X standards is critical to the success of the V to X program, support for the broader range of ITS standards is also critical considering the breadth of V to X and the need to send a clear message to standards organizations that they need to work together to develop harmonized  ITS standards.