I have been involved in automotive lighting harmonisation activities since 1989 when I was elected chairman of GTB Harmonisation working group, then I became a freelance consultant working as President of GTB until 2021 and subsequently as a senior advisor to DVN until 2023. My “retirement” allowed me to facilitate harmonisation through daily involvement with the global lighting community. I was privileged to lead 20 DVN Regulatory Sessions before passing the baton to Dr Bart Terburg, who in addition to his role as GTB Vice President is now leading the Regulatory Sessions at the DVN workshops since 2022.
At the recent 2022 DVN US Workshop, I supported Bart Terburg to organise the regulatory session which led a fruitful discussion on how to break the barriers to innovation. A summary of the outcomes of the panel discussion is included in the in-depth article in this newsletter.
I remain frustrated with the ongoing impasse where we are tantalisingly close to achieving the goal, but we cannot have meaningful harmonisation until NHTSA finds a way to actively join the harmonisation process. It is worrying that NHTSA is very active at the UN World Forum (WP29) with the exception of lighting and signalling, the domain of the WP29 Lighting and signalling Working Party, GRE.
Industry needs harmonised regulations open to innovation but, when I have taken an initiative to lead a focussed group to work on harmonisation, industry responds by claiming lack of expert resources and points out that if the regulators do not show an interest, resources will be wasted.
At the SIAT (India) 2021 Conference, I expressed my opinion that “The innovations in automotive lighting offer clear benefits for road safety but currently cannot be fully exploited across the major global markets because of regulatory barriers. These are mostly technical barriers because the regulations and mandatory standards are out of date and / or are not harmonised and synchronised. This emotive subject can be discussed forever but, after more than 10 years of frequent debate, the global lighting community must decide upon a constructive way forward to either start to make real progress or abandon the activity! We must act now or never, but “Everyone, is waiting for Someone, to make the first move”.
My clear message is that the global lighting community must “come off the fence” and take a clear decision, to either act now or give up and stop the endless talking. If the global lighting community does decide to act to break the impasse, a suitable expert must be chosen to lead the activity, possibly a Harmonisation Steering Committee operating under the DVN umbrella.