It’s increasingly difficult to accept that there’s more than one regulation for any given vehicle lighting device—necessitating different lamp designs, tests, and approval/certification procedures—despite there being just one goal worldwide: safe night driving. The multiplicity of regulations means extra work and extra cost that really shouldn’t be necessary. Much of the lighting community favours single worldwide regulations.
It’s easy enough to understand the different regulations arising from country-specific cultures, environments, markets, and industries. But today’s modern automotive lighting, with its 100-year history, with so many innovations and so much progress for new light sources and new functions, is showing the way toward night driving with total safety. Must we continue to waste effort, time, and money duplicating efforts to meet multiple different technical standards? Unfortunately, for now the answer is yes; it is unlikely the United States Government will suddenly decide the UN Regulations recognised virtually everywhere else will work OK in the USA. So the need for maximal harmonisation is becoming more urgent. What must we do to succeed?
We need a strong GTB, an organsation with worldwide experts talking together to define what makes “good” lights and devise technical provisions for regulations that optimise the required and permitted levels of safety performance and efficiently serve as performance-based go/no-go gates for technology that keeps evolving faster and faster.
We need a strong working relationship with NHTSA, who are—right this minute—listening and open to talking with worldwide lighting experts and organisations. Historically, opportunities to talk to a receptive NHTSA about lighting haven’t come around very often; now’s an excllent time for experts in the DVN community to speak to them by filing comments and organising meetings. An interesting mix of replies has already been filed in response to NHTSA’s recent request for comment, and although the official deadline has passed, new incoming comments are still being posted. In this week’s news, we take a look at some of the comments so far.
We need to offer thoughtful, helpful guidance to countries making decisions about how to regulate vehicle lights. Aside from the American situation, which has been aptly described as a “regulatory island”, countries like Japan, Korea and China have adopted UN Regulations or reworked their own regulations, in one way or another, to conform more or less to UN practice.
The DVN Delhi Workshop showed a strong commitment of Indian organisations to go this way, too. At the DVN Tokyo Workshop we will talk about it, setting the stage for the next DVN USA Workshop.
Please have a look to the DVN report concerning this event.
DVN Editor in Chief