Congratulations to Hector and the DVN team for the great success of last week's DVN US Workshop. You created an outstanding event, attended by the leaders and experts of the Global Lighting Community. Without doubt, the contribution of Nathaniel Beuse, David Hines and Markus Price of NHTSA and Marcin Gorzkowski of GRE ensured a unique and invaluable exchange of opinion relative to the crucial issues of Safety and Regulation.
Geoff Draper with M.Price,N.Beuse, and M.Gorzkowski
The various presentations on the subject of LED technologies in automotive lighting were informative and relevant. I was very interested to understand the point of view of the US Industry and its Regulators in relation to that of regions that are party to the UN Regulations. It is clear that the priorities of the US market relating to product innovation and the regulatory approach differ from other regions but, at the same time, the concerns and priorities for traffic and pedestrian safety are very similar. The outcome of the workshop emphasised this important point.
As you would expect, the question “Does LED Intelligent Lighting improve safety?” was of particular interest to me. This round table, actively led by Thorsten Warwel, successfully identified some of the significant difficulties of adapting FMVSS108 to allow new technologies in comparison with the process adopted to develop UN regulations. In particular, I was impressed by the comments of Nathaniel Beuse, Director of the NHTSA Office of Crash Avoidance Standards. Some of the significant points that he raised should be seriously considered by our global lighting community.
The overall impression was that innovations in vehicle lighting offer important opportunities to address traffic and pedestrian safety issues but these benefits can only be realised if regulations are adapted to technical progress. However, as the technological content of lighting systems increases, with more control and driver assistance issues, it becomes more difficult for the regulators to be in a position to understand the benefits and risks for safety. In particular, adaptive and driver assistance systems depend upon sensors and electronic control and this leads to concerns of reliability of the algorithms, the associated mechanisms and external ambient influences. It is the responsibility of industry to ensure that the experts in the regulatory agencies are kept up to date with technical progress, if they are to effectively perform their crucial advisory function for the law makers.
In the context of the UN lighting and signalling regulations, Marcin Gorzkowski has encouraged a mechanism within GRE where industry experts provide regular technical updates for the government representatives. At each GRE session, GTB presents its progress reports based upon innovation roadmaps. Additionally, GTB invites GRE experts to participate in its working group meetings where they are able to contribute, at a detailed technical level, to ensure that any safety concerns are addressed in a timely manner. Of course this does not mean that when GRE votes on a new GTB proposal it will automatically be adopted, but it does reduce the time required to adapt the regulations and it ensures that proposals for amendment are mature before they are presented for adoption by GRE. The governments, who are contracting