By Daniel Stern, DVN Chief Editor
Throughout the lighting world—writers and readers alike—we think and talk often these days about the fast and accelerating pace of almost every aspect of vehicle lighting. Technology and technique in everything from light sources to optics to thermics and materials...capabilities in terms of what we can do with light...demands in terms of what tomorrow's vehicles and roadways will require of vehicle lighting systems. All these are zooming along at an ever-increasing rate.
We also think and talk a lot about one major part of our world not keeping up, that is regulations. The amount of lag differs by region; GTB President Geoff Draper's very promising effort is humming along to streamline the UN Regulations and synchronise various countries' national rules, while in the US ADB is still not allowed, for two examples. But this is a difference of degree; all over the world, it is a common gripe (amongst vehicle buyers, too) that regulations aren't keeping up with the technical and technological state of the art in vehicle lighting.
The lag isn't limited to matters of technical advance. Think about Michael Hamm's presentation at the 2017 US DVN Workshop and his analysis of the stackup of tolerances and influences that mean any given car's headlight beams are pointed the way the driver needs them less than 10% of the time. Think about Hamm's finding that the regulations on VOA headlamps—the kind on almost all vehicles in North America—are silent on the matter of aim tolerance. Think about Tom Poorman's presentation at the 2015 US DVN Workshop; with an unbroken evidentiary chain he robustly linked pedestrian deaths to the levels of headlamp lens haze allowed by regulations containing lens requirements not upgraded since they were published, too lax from the start, 34 years ago.