The past 10 years have brought a major shift in attitude and approach to vehicle lighting regulation and this has been the result of intense pressure to facilitate innovation offering significant improvements in road safety. Regulation was long considered as something of a necessary evil, best left to specialists in the certification-and-approval departments of vehicle manufacturers and their equipment suppliers, but now it is high on the priority list of development engineers who understand that good innovation depends upon good regulation to succeed commercially.
There has also been a notable change in attitude toward the effects of regulatory approach and policy upon trade. National regulations were focused on development and protection of markets, with technical provisions justified as being necessary due to local conditions. But as international trade in motor vehicles increases, a patchwork of national technical requirements impedes the process of harmonisation necessary for the successful negotiation of international trade deals.
This report aims to describe changes in attitude toward regulation, its differentiation from standardisation, and the changes underway around the world. There is a clear distinction between the development of global technical requirements and the politics of how they can be implemented into national regulation. It is important to understand the implications and the actions that industry needs to implement if we are to avoid barriers to beneficial innovations widely, practically, and affordably reaching the world’s roads.
This report focuses on the main issues facing global harmonisation and synchronisation of the technical requirements. It also details the changes underway in the UNECE, the EU, China, Korea, and the USA and introduces new topics such as the lighting requirements of AVs (autonomous vehicles).
The final section of the report provides the author’s thoughts on the whole process of regulation from the standpoint of innovation requiring good regulation in order to succeed, with the aim of prompting further discussion. The latest news from GRE concerning the question of lighting for autonomous vehicles is included.