The need for international Standards for the car of the future ISO forum

Issue 35 – February 2012

Some 35 automobile industry leaders from companies such as Audi, Daimler, Renault, Volkswagen, and Volvo provided direct input on what Standards are needed to meet the challenges of the industry and those of its customers and stakeholders. At least eight standards developing organisations were represented at the forum.

With more than a billion estimated road vehicles in use worldwide, if the automotive sector uses state-of-the-art Standards for safety, performance, impact on the environment, and requirements for supply chain partners, this can have a huge impact on all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, environmental, and economic.

Gorbachev pointed out that 95% of cars today run on oil and said that the car industry must continue the search for technical solutions to make cars lighter, more aerodynamic, and environmentally friendly, and to make the factories producing them more compact and cleaner. He also said that the automotive industry has always been an innovative sector and was among the first to demonstrate social accountability through measures such as collective agreements with unions, medical, and social programmes, and so on, adding, 'Now, it is time to demonstrate environmental responsibility. Ultimately, everyone will benefit.'

Among the recommendations to emerge from the debate were standardisation priorities which included:

  • international Standards to support electrification of the vehicle

  • connectivity and communications, including applications-based data and communications

  • key performance measures that are important to customers and regulators, such as indicators of environmental, energy, and active safety performance.

There was overall agreement on key areas of improvement for the Standards-setting process, including agreement that:

  • global Standards are needed (not regional ones) – a new approach and new methods of cooperation and fora are required, both for standards bodies and industry. Past approaches will not work

  • a holistic, systems-wide approach is needed with all key stakeholders engaged to capture optimal system performance

  • speed to shape regulation rather than follow it is needed, to reassure customers and drive scale. Mapping of key processes and eliminating time wastage in the current process is essential

  • there is a need to achieve better balance between Standards that can promote efficiency and those that can stifle innovation. Consider partitioning Standards in appropriate areas of focus, such as:
    • performance
    • interfaces
    • architecture.

Published in transport.