November - December 2005
Outcome of the 3rd Global Commercial Vehicle Meeting
The 3rd Global Commercial Vehicle Industry Meeting, a gathering of the chief executives of leading US, EU and Japanese manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles and engines, took place on November 1 in
This year’s session focused on two themes: (a) the reduction of emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and (b) improving vehicle safety. The objective was to identify policies and actions needed to build on the progress already made, both in terms of emissions and safety, and continue such progress into the next decade. However, it appears that the improvements in emissions and safety performance of commercial vehicles that have been made over the last 20 years are not always recognized and need to be highlighted clearly to governments and public authorities. As a general way forward, the view of participants was that cooperation amongst industry, government and vehicle users is essential to achieve further progress on these issues.
Some of the discussions focused on the international harmonisation of regulations. Key conclusions included the following:
Another issue discussed relates to after-treatment systems that are starting to be introduced in different parts of the world to meet increasingly stringent nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) standards. One of the technologies that will simultaneously enable low emissions and fuel economy improved is selective catalytic reduction (SCR). While there are still concerns with respect to urea-distribution infrastructure and tamper resistance, one key concern is consumer acceptance of these systems, owing to their newness and consumers’ resulting unfamiliarity with them.
Another important issue discussed was that of fuel quality. Given the wide variety in fuel specifications (globally) and the fact that these are not driven by engine technology, there is a need for Global Fuel Regulations. This should be given a priority within the UN, in parallel with the globally harmonised vehicle regulations mentioned above. In this regard, participants supported the introduction of an automotive diesel fuel standard into the ISO TC28 work programme, using the Worldwide Fuel Charter as a basis for the work.
The last item on the agenda was vehicle safety. It was the view of participants that future progress can only be guaranteed through improved driver training, licensing and traffic law enforcement programmes, better roadway design and maintenance upgrades. They also identified the need for truck operators and motor carriers to continuously manage the safety of their operations. Manufacturers agreed that additional progress in the areas of crash protection and crash avoidance can be achieved, and further agreed to pursue this work in a globally harmonised context.
The 4th Global Commercial Vehicle Industry Meeting will take place in