UN presents awards for promoting information technology to improve road safety

The President of Switzerland, the chairman of a German engineering company and the President of the International Automobile Federation today were honoured with a United Nations award recognizing their use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to improve road safety.The recipients of this year’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Award were Swiss President Ueli Maurer, Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the Board of Management of the company Robert Bosch GmbH, and Jean Todt, President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).The award was presented at a ceremony in Geneva, tying in with the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day observed on 17 May with the theme this year ‘ICTs and Improving Road Safety.’Organized by the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the chosen theme is aimed at helping make roads and vehicles safer worldwide.“Road traffic safety is a global concern for public health and injury prevention,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “Every year, 1.3 million people die in traffic-related accidents and another 20-50 million people are injured mainly in developing countries around the world. As a result, Governments and individuals suffer an estimated $518 billion in global economic loss.”Mr. Maurer was honoured for his country’s recent measures to improve road safety. Switzerland is among the safest countries for road users in the world and recorded a significant decrease in road traffic mortality in the period 2001-2010. The Swiss Council for Accident Prevention has been actively involved with ITU in developing standards for Driver Assistance Systems and intelligent systems for accident prevention in road traffic.A household name in motorsports, Mr. Todt has led the racing team Scuderia Ferrari to win 14 Formula 1 World titles. Over the past years, he has made global road safety a professional and personal engagement. Since his election as President, he has made it a priority of the FIA, and has been tirelessly lobbying leaders and decision-makers all around the world, urging them to commit to tangible, affordable and verifiable measures aimed at reducing the annual toll on the world’s roads.As chairman of Bosch, Mr. Denner heads one of the leading suppliers of automotive components, including fuel-injection systems for internal combustion engines. Bosch is also responsible for innovations in the areas of vehicle safety systems, in-car information and communication systems, as well as driver-assistance and other guidance functions. In addition, Bosch experts are working with ITU to develop short-range high-resolution automotive radar systems, with the aim of improving both transportation efficiency and road safety. read more