A status report from Geoff Draper – GTB President
The GTB working groups met in Torino, Italy, from 03-06 February with an impressive participation of 45 experts. Among the working group sessions, Dr. Karl Manz's Safety and Visual Performance Working Group and Dr. Rainer Neumann's Front Lighting Working Group met to reach conclusions to the study relating to the Headlamp Levelling Issue. Since the decision of GRE in April 2011, to invite GTB to lead a glare and visibility study to define new criteria for the mandatory installation of auto levelling systems, DVN has featured many progress reports.
The outcome of a morning-long debate during Rainer's Front Lighting Working Group meeting was an agreed approach to be submitted to GRE in April. The topic will be considered during the GRE agenda when a complete half-day session will be devoted to a presentation led by the GTB Task Force for the Coordination of Automotive Glare and Visibility Studies (TF-CAVGS) , jointly chaired by Ad de Visser and Bart Terburg.
GTB is now following its internal approval procedure to agree upon the content of its presentation and a recommended approach to an amendment of UN Regulation 48. This will define criteria based upon the vehicle pitch angle under defined loading conditions and aiming limits defining the boundaries for acceptable passing beam glare and range. The results of the research carried out at Klettwitz in conjunction with Prof. Khanh and his team at Darmstadt University (as reported by DVN) clearly confirmed that the light source type is not a significant criterion to define when automatic levelling is to be mandated and this committed GTB to find a solution that is dependent upon the actual characteristics of the vehicle under load.
It has been clear from the start of the GTB study that any conclusion will be controversial as it inevitably challenges the status quo. The subject is a regulatory challenge for all stakeholders, whether regulators, vehicle manufacturers, device manufacturers or academia. This is why GTB was given the task as the unique group representing all aspects of our lighting community and because it takes an approach in working by consensus. Of course, in Geneva, our conclusions are thoroughly interrogated by the government representatives of the contracting parties. In addition, GTB is only one of the many NGO's providing an input into the UN regulatory process through GRE and whatever GTB decides is open for challenge by other NGO's such as OICA and CLEPA.