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American Interests Come to the Table Supporting Harmonization of Global Vehicle Regulations

New York, Sep 30, 2002

With the steady increase in global traffic and mobile populations, the coordination of regulations for construction of motor vehicles has become an international priority. The economies and populations of all countries benefit from harmonized vehicle regulations, because domestic transport and international transport are made more efficient, safer and more environmentally sound.

U.S. interests are represented in a variety of cooperative efforts to ensure that American standards and their benefits will be properly considered in efforts to adopt harmonized global technical vehicle regulations. After a three-year long application process, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and accredited standards developer The Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE), was recently granted Special Consultative status by the United Nations (U.N.) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as a Non Government Organization (NGO). This accreditation allows SAE to participate in U.N. sessions of its leading council overseeing the development of international vehicle regulations.

Along with the status comes a formal seat for SAE at the regular sessions of the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (Working Party 29 or WP29) held three times annually, as well as its subsidiary bodies, which meet in Geneva, Switzerland. WP29 (previously known as the Working Party on the Construction of Vehicles) was established in 1952 and initially focused on standardization of regulations within the European community.

In 1998, the U.S. was the first nation to sign on to the United Nations/Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) Agreement Concerning the Establishing of Global and Technical Regulations for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts Which Can Be Fitted And/or Be Used On Wheeled Vehicles (the "1998 Global Agreement"). The 1998 Global Agreement provides for the establishment of global technical regulations regarding the safety, emissions, energy efficiency and theft prevention of wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts, and contains procedures for establishing global technical regulations by either harmonizing existing regulations or developing a new regulation.

Since 1999, SAE had been represented at WP29 meetings at the special invitation of the Secretariat of WP29. Throughout the application process for NGO status, SAE continued to provide technical and other substantive input to the development of international regulations.

"We are extremely pleased that the U.N. has seen the necessity of SAE being formally involved in the global harmonization of automotive standards," said Doug Read, Managing Director of SAE's Washington, D.C., office. "This accreditation is a major milestone for SAE's acceptance as an integral player in the international regulatory community and a strong recognition of the importance of SAE standards worldwide."

For more information on NGO accreditation, visit the UN ECOSOC; or visit the transport division of the UN/ECE for information on global vehicle regulations.

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) has taken a leadership role in the Strategic Automotive product data Standards Industry Group (SASIG) with the appointment of Akram J. Yunas, AIAG collaborative engineering and product development program manager, to chairman of the consortium. This appointment demonstrates AIAG's commitment to address issues and develop common solutions that will improve product data exchange throughout the global automotive industry.

As chairman, Yunas will provide direction and coordinate the efforts of the various organizations that participate in SASIG as they attempt to tackle product data quality concerns facing the automotive industry. He will also be responsible for prioritizing and creating new work groups within the consortium.

SASIG focuses on encouraging the improvement of product data exchange across the international automotive industry through the adoption of STandard for the Exchange of Product model data (ISO 10303). This has included developing joint positions on the implementation of STEP and the soon-to-be completed portion of the STEP standard known as "Core Data for Automotive Mechanical Design Processes" (ISO 10303-214). AP214 - as it is more commonly known - is a key product data standard for the automotive industry.

Member organizations participate in international forums to address issues that are core to automotive design and manufacturing. At the present time, SASIG work groups are working on the following initiatives: product data management, product data quality, visualization, digital plant simulation, exchange and management of technical data, data retention and archiving and STEP AP214 maintenance.

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