ETSI considers adopting MirrorLink as technical specification

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) will formally explore adopting MirrorLink as an ETSI Technical Specification (TS) under an agreement struck with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) at the ETSI General Assembly meeting in Sophia Antipolis this week.

MirrorLink brings the smartphone to the dash of the car so drivers are not tempted to look at their smartphones while driving. (Image Source: CCC) 

MirrorLink, which originally got its start within Nokia (NYSE:NOK), replicates what's on the phone and displays it on a bigger screen that requires minimal interaction in a car. In March 2011, Nokia launched the CCC with 10 other companies interested in making MirrorLink the dominant global connected-car platform.

One of the goals is to minimize distraction in the car so that people are not picking up their phones and looking at them, which is what is happening on many cars on the highways today. It bills itself as the only OS- and OEM-agnostic technology for car-smartphone connectivity where no single entity has a controlling stake.

With this week's action, ETSI effectively put MirrorLink on a path for adoption as an ETSI standard for connected car technology. "MirrorLink's capacity to increase safety on today's roads by safely connecting smartphone apps and vehicles makes it a compelling candidate for ETSI's portfolio of standards," said Luis Jorge Romero, ETSI director-general, in a press release. "MirrorLink is also in line with ETSI's mission to remain on the forefront of future technologies and to improve life for the next generation of world citizens."

ETSI said it has brought together all stakeholders from the car industry in its Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Technical Committee.  

CCC's 100 members represent 70 percent of the world's auto market, 70 percent of the global smartphone market and various aftermarket consumer electronics vendors. Certain models of Samsung, HTC and Sony phone models are among the handsets that come equipped with MirrorLink technology.

According to the CCC, the agreement with ETSI serves as important validation for MirrorLink's car tech capabilities. "With millions of MirrorLink-enabled handsets and vehicles already in use on European roads alone, the public has demonstrated not only demand for intuitive connected car technologies, but an eagerness to do their part in reducing distracted driving," said Alan Ewing, president and executive director of the CCC, in the release. 

In other connected car news, Ford will start to offer embedded cellular modems for its cars starting with the 2017 Ford Escape that ships in the spring. The vehicle, which debuted this week at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, will come with Sync Connect, a new service that will allow users to remotely lock, unlock, start and locate their vehicle using their smartphone.  

For more:
- see this release
- see this Extreme Tech article
- see this CNET article

Related articles:
Huawei, Volkswagen demonstrate MirrorLink connected car applications
Microsoft tests new connected car concept that uses Mirrorlink
MirrorLink supporters tout framework for in-car apps