A Message From GTB President Geoff Draper
As most of you know, GTB is the international automotive lighting and light signalling expert group. As GTB President, I am preparing the regulatory session for the DVN Munich Workshop scheduled for this coming 29 January, and I would like to ask for your assistance.
I’ll be discussing the introduction of new lighting functions into regulations because I understand that this is a topic that is of major importance to many companies, trying to develop their future development plans. I believe much progress has been achieved as regulators strive to remove barriers to innovation for traffic safety and to reduce the regulatory burden for all stakeholders. But it seems that representatives of industry remain skeptical, as reported in the recently published DVN Report on the future of exterior lighting. The summary of its regulatory section states:
“The speed of lighting innovation is not synchronised with the speed of approval by regulatory bodies. Worldwide OEMs and Tier1s expressed their severe concern about the speed of movement of regulation versus their investments necessary in innovations.”
I think the most practically important aspects of this concertn are the limits of regulators’ ability to permit innovative features without compromising safety, and how industry can help. This is a key question because some innovations are developed to facilitate styling that remains a prime driver led by appearance differentiation, dynamics, and signature features. These features may be safety-neutral, but are not allowed by current regulations and there is nervousness among regulators that a sort of “Pandora’s box” may be opened by allowing new functions and lighting features unless effective requirements are established in the regulatory provisions.
In preparation for the DVN Regulatory Session at the Munich workshop, I would like to kindly request your earliest possible response to a short questionnaire. To give me time to prepare the summary for the Munich workshop, please email your replies to me before 13 January. Responses go to a dedicated email address set up specifically for this survey, and all responses will be kept in strictest confidence; they will not be published, shared, or otherwise distributed. I will personally read all responses and produce a summary that will not reveal anyone’s personal or commercial details. Please copy and paste the following questions into your email response, then fill in your answers.
Your company, organisation, or other affiliation:
1. Please explain in detail your agreement, disagreement, or partial agreement with this statement:
“The speed of lighting innovation is not synchronised with the speed of regulatory approval. Worldwide automakers and tier-1 suppliers are severely concerned about the speed of regulatory evolution and its effect their innovation-related investments and activities.”
2. Without divulging commercially confidential information, please give examples of lighting innovations (features, functions, hardware, etc) that you want to introduce, but can’t because they’re not allowed by existing regulations. Please note which regulatory systems are making problems—UNECE, Chinese GB, US FMVSS, laws of specific countries or individual US states, etc—and what kinds of problems they’re making.
3. What actions should non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like GTB, OICA, CLEPA, JAPIA, MEMA, and IMMA take? Please explain your answer.
4. What assistance are you prepared to offer to these kinds of NGOs to
support and encourage regulators to introduce the required changes?