IRIS Highlights - March 2024

IRIS Highlights - March 2024

KEY NEWS 1/4 — European Union

Opinion of the European Committee of the Regions on the European Green Deal and Health

The European Committee of the Regions has issued its opinion on the European Green Deal and its impact on health, which has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. In this document, the importance of adopting concrete measures to improve sustainable mobility is highlighted, especially in rural areas where access to public transportation is limited. It stresses the need to revise the guidelines for trans-European transport networks and calls for a common framework that supports cities in transitioning to more environmentally friendly mobility models.


Furthermore, it underlines the relevance of the Green Deal Industrial Plan and the Net-Zero Industry Act to stimulate investment in green technologies, as well as the Circular Economy Action Plan to address persistent pollutants affecting human health. The document also emphasizes the importance of reducing transport emissions by implementing smart and sustainable solutions, such as promoting public transportation and electric vehicles.

The crucial role of local and regional authorities in adapting environmental policies to protect citizens' health at the local level is highlighted. Ultimately, it is considered that policies promoting sustainable mobility and environmental conservation will not only boost a more efficient economy but will also contribute to improving public health and reducing the costs associated with pollution and climate-related illnesses.

KEY NEWS 2/4 — United Nations

R.XXX - Driver Control Assistance Systems - Adopted proposal by GRVA

The Working Group on Automated/Autonomous and Connected Vehicles (GRVA) has taken a significant step in regulating Driver Control Assistance Systems (DCAS) during its 18th session. At this meeting, a proposal was adopted that establishes a future Regulation on uniform provisions for the approval of vehicles with regard to these systems.

The key points of this proposal highlight the role of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in supporting drivers while keeping ultimate responsibility for vehicle control in the hands of the driver. Within ADAS, DCAS are identified as those providing sustained assistance in lateral and longitudinal control.

The proposed future Regulation aims to expand the approval of DCAS beyond current limitations, allowing for a variety of driver assistance functions. It is specified that these systems are considered a form of Level 2 partial automation according to the classification of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), implying that the driver must actively supervise the environment and the system at all times.

It is important to note that while DCAS provide support in driving, they do not assume full control of the vehicle, thereby retaining ultimate responsibility with the driver. The limits of these systems' capabilities are determined by the scenarios and conditions for which they are designed, and requirements are set to ensure that DCAS are not misused or overly relied upon by the driver.

Additionally, the need for active driver supervision is emphasized, with warning and stopping systems in place in case of non-response to warnings. The safety of DCAS will be assessed through a multi-pillar process including documentation, testing, and ongoing monitoring.

Regarding driver understanding, the importance of Human-Machine Interface (HMI) standards is highlighted to ensure uniformity and clarity in communication between the vehicle and the driver. While educational materials will be required, it is recognized that the regulation alone cannot guarantee full understanding by the driver.

Finally, manufacturers and the marketing sector are called upon to avoid exaggerating the capabilities of DCAS and using misleading terms that may encourage over-reliance on the part of the driver.

The proposal adopted by the GRVA was discussed and voted on at the 191st session of WP.29 in March 2024.

KEY NEWS 3/4 — Australia

New Vehicle Efficiency Standard - Reduction of emissions from new passenger vehicles by more than 60 per cent by 2030

The Australian government has announced the introduction of new legislation to improve vehicle efficiency, with the aim of significantly reducing emissions from new passenger vehicles by over 60% by 2030 and halving emissions from new light commercial vehicles over the same period.

One of the salient features of this legislation is the softening of the emissions trajectory for light commercial vehicles. This adjustment, inspired by recent changes announced by the US Environmental Protection Agency to its vehicle standards, is intended to ease the transition for vehicles such as utility vehicles, vans and 4x4s.

The new standard also provides for adjustments to relative emissions limits based on vehicle weight, recognizing that heavier vehicles tend to emit more.

Implementation of the standard will start on 1 January 2025, but manufacturers will not be subject to credits or penalties until 1 July 2025, giving them time to prepare and test appropriately.

To support the transition to cleaner vehicles, the government will allocate $60 million to improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure at dealerships across the country. This investment is expected to encourage greater adoption of electric vehicles and contribute to emissions reductions in the transport sector.


Approval of Conformity Assessment Requirements for Motorcycle Rider and Passenger Helmets

The Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade, and Services issued Portaria No. 599 on December 28, 2023, amending INMETRO Ordinance No. 231 of May 18, 2021, which approves the Conformity Assessment Requirements for Helmets for Riders and Passengers of Motorcycles and Similar Vehicles.

Among the changes, it is established that as of 17 April 2024, domestic manufacturers and importers shall exclusively market helmets for drivers and passengers of motorbikes and similar vehicles that comply with the amendments introduced by INMETRO Ordinance 456 of 2019, incorporated in INMETRO Ordinance No. 231 of May 2021.

In addition, the testing obligation applicable to secondary visors, as detailed in Tables 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Annex I of INMETRO Ordinance No. 231 of May 2021, is temporarily suspended. This measure is intended to provide time for the necessary adaptation and testing prior to implementation.


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