25. The expert from EC, secretary of IWG for QRTV, informed GRB about the outcome of its last meeting held in Tokyo (10 – 12 December 2013). He also announced that the next meetings of the IWG were scheduled to take place from 7 to 9 April as well as from 13 to 15 May, 2014 in Washington, D.C. He clarified that the IWG activities were focused on cleaning up the draft text of the UN GTR on QRTV as well as on addressing technical and policy issues. The expert from EC thus invited GRB experts from Contracting Parties to the 1998 Agreement to provide before April 2014 their comments on the various policy options, provided by a working paper of the IWG (AVAS conditions 27.01.14). GRB also noted the decision of the Executive Committee of the 1998 Agreement (AC.3) (see ECE/TRANS/WP.29/1106, para. 106) to extend the mandate of IWG until November 2015. Therefore, GRB expected to discuss a concrete proposal at its next sessions in September 2014 and January 2015.
26. The expert from WBU highlighted three key elements of AVAS, from the point of view of people with impaired vision: (i) alert sound should be of a sufficient volume and its composition (frequency, etc.) should allow for location and movement of the vehicle; (ii) the system should be active on stationary vehicles; and (iii) the driver should not be in a position to switch it off, as this safety feature should be active all the time. The expert from EC informed GRB that the EU Regulation on noise would require an automatic setting of AVAS and since this Regulation was at the latest stage of the co-decision process, this provision would hardly change. The Chair of GRB clarified that the pause-switch function would be part of the discussion of GRB. He added that the provisions of the UN GTR should conjugate the safety effectiveness of AVAS and the reduction of parasite noise. Finally, GRB agreed to resume discussion on this subject at its September 2014 session.
35. At Chair’s invitation, GRB had a brief exchange of views on issues which should be included in the future work of GRB. The expert from ISO pointed out that, to update the test methods set out in UN Regulations Nos. 41 and 51, the following ISO activities may be relevant: revisiting ISO 362-1:2007, development of part III of this standard with a specification how to perform tests in indoor facilities and updating the requirements on the noise test track from ISO 10844:1994 to ISO 10844:2011. The expert from France mentioned UN Regulation No. 51, ASEP, QRTV, ongoing technological improvements, indoor approvals, addressing sirens (ambulances, etc.) in UN Regulation No. 28, noise pollution caused by loading and unloading of deliveries in cities. The expert from the Netherlands presented a graph (GRB-59-11) showing a general improvement in tyre noise data for C1 tyres in 2007-2013 and informed GRB about his intention to bring similar graphs for C2 and C3 tyres for the attention of GRB at its next session, with the aim to study if the current noise limits for tyres can be further reduced. With support from the experts from EC and OICA, he also suggested studying the correspondence between the labelling system on tyres and their actual performance. The expert from Switzerland was of the opinion that noise pollution, its benchmarking and new technologies emerging on the market should be looked at. The expert from ERTRO proposed to address the issue of road surfaces, as the third main contributor to noise pollution after vehicles and tyres. However, the Chair and the expert from EC pointed out that this issue is very complex and it goes beyond the competence of GRB and type approvals. The expert of EC proposed to revisit the noise emission of agricultural vehicles and update the underlying test methods which had been developed 40 years ago.