Road Illumination Devices Standards Committee

Scope of Responsibilities:
The Road Illumination Devices (RID) committee has responsibility for all automotive lighting devices which serve to provide forward illumination on the roadway. This includes headlamps, fog lamps, auxiliary high and low beam lamps as well as the halogen and arc discharge source lamps which are used in these devices.

The current list of RID task forces includes:

Next Generation:
The recent standards challenges have been the introduction of "discharge" source lamps into the automotive lighting industry, harmonization of light patterns with European standards and higher voltage automotive electrical systems.

While arc discharge light sources held promises of higher light output and source brightness, they surfaced many new and unanswered questions. Task force work is now ongoing in an attempt to resolve all of the new issues.

Even benign improvements in lighting have their hidden issues. Changes in light distribution from recently-improved headlamp light sources, compounded by an increase of large SUV and personal pick-up vehicles have caused a public outcry about "glaring" headlamps. In an effort to preempt regulatory action, the Committee has initiated task force work to find a solution.

"Standards Harmonization" covers a wide variety of long unsettled differences between European (ECE) Standards and domestic (SAE and FMVSS) standards. Ongoing efforts over the past 5 or 6 years are beginning to pay off with resolution of the more significant differences in standards for fog and head lamps, and for distributive light sources.

Vehicle voltage changes promise to become a significant lighting issue as the effects of higher voltages on the viability of filament lamp designs are researched and discussed.

A further challenge remains in coordinating the new and improved standards with new and subtle insights into the human factors of vision and the importance of light and illumination for driver comfort and safety.

New Standards:
In the coming months and years the RID committee and its various task forces will produce new standards for headlamps, improved headlamp light sources, fog lamps and also for the next generation of vehicle lighting such as distributive (light pipe) vehicle lighting and adaptive-reactive forward lighting systems.

Understanding the human factors of vision will take on a greater role in evaluating and enhancing the validity of new vehicle forward lighting standards.

Discussion Forum

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