Coordinate a 2 hour and half timeframe convenient for a big lot of people in time zones separated by as much as + or – nine hours, find a reliable hosting platform (kindly provided by OSRAM-SYLVANIA), and put together a virtual round-table discussion. It was a tall taskload on a very short deadline, but DVN’s international teleconference on lighting regulations took place this past Thursday with about 100 people arriving and calling-in on time and listening and participating for the duration.
This was the replacement for the panel discussion that had to be scrubbed from the end of the DVN Workshop docket because lectures ran over time. The teleconference was a terrific success; we had a wonderful meeting with substantial, thoughtful contributions by David Hines and Markus Price from NHTSA, Mike Flannagan from UMTRI, Marcin Gorzkowski from Transport Canada, Mike Larsen from GM, Dennis Novack from FCA, Barbara Wendling from VW, and numerous others.
The whole thing was steered and choreographed with grace and panache by GTB President Geoff Draper.
The discussion was thought-provoking and of impressively high quality all around, with refreshingly omnidirectional flow of knowledge. The present inability to put ADB on North American roads frustrates everyone involved, but it’s always easier to cope and work past a frustration when one understands the “why”, and NHTSA’s Hines and Price did a top-notch job of explaining just exactly why their agency, though keenly aware and intensely interested in the safety potential of ADB, cannot legally simply say “OK” to a North American rollout of even those systems that are already working in Europe.
The reasons aren’t arbitrary or capricious; they’re genuine and solid, and we’ll be writing about them in the coming weeks. There was in-depth technical discussion not just of the real benefits of ADB, but also of the potential for the safety benefit to come at the expense of other road users if the system doesn’t control glare well enough or can’t be repeatably demonstrated to perform in accord with objective test protocols.
The meeting was a great help for everyone to understand what we must do not only now to expedite the arrival of ADB in North America, but also in the future to make it easy and fast for the US and UN regulatory systems to synchronise when a new technology comes forward.
Surely this what we’re now witnessing is an unprecedented degree of engagement and productive discussion between US and UN practitioners.
I, along with the rest of my team, am very proud to have been able to position DVN as the fulcrum for this crucial discussion on an ongoing basis.
DVN Editor in Chief