John Brett

John is a professional engineer with 50 years experience.

John has designed and built many cars, trucks, and vehicle assembly facilities.

John has worked on design of roads, bridges, cranes, transmission towers, and buildings, and operation, maintenance and upgrade of hydro and gas turbine power stations.

John was a LVV Certifier for 13 years. John has long been a whistle-blower, expressing the view that the LVV system is dangerously deficient. John's authority was revoked in December 2012.

John rides a 1992 Yamaha FJ1200ABS, and is also a keen road and off road cyclist.

APOLOGY

“The LVVTA has brought it to my attention that statements I have made in relation to it and its employees may have been perceived as defamatory.

I sincerely regret that and apologise for any harm caused. I have taken down the statements identified by the LVVTA of concern to it.

I have strong views about the low volume vehicle certification process and intend in the future to direct my energies into the public inquiry now being held in relation to it.”

John Brett 7th October 2015

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Electronic Systems- LVV standard required?

It is no secret that a modern car is becoming a computer on wheels. Critical functions such as braking, steering, chassis dynamics are becoming- not just electronically enhanced, but electronically CONTROLLED by embedded software and electronics systems. Self-driving cars are not yet on New Zealand roads, but they do exist- and most of the enabling technology already exists to varying degrees in most modern vehicles.

Even in STUFF.co.nz Motoring section

Drive-by-Wire is not some futuristic concept. Drivers today are already “driving by wire” far more than they suspect.
Pressing the brake pedal simply starts a process controlled by electronics. The brakes can be applied even without the driver pressing the pedal. Steering on some new models is fly-by wire. Traction control, chassis control all have electronic systems that over-ride the driver.
Disability drive by wire control systems exist and are used in other countries. Using such systems, a driver can control steering, acceleration, braking all from a tiny joy-stick- just like the pilot of a modern jet fighter or airliner! At present there is no process to allow such systems in New Zealand, and they are ruled out by the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association.
Driving with a joystick

Safety is also a key area that is electronically managed- a possible approaching collision can trigger self-actuating brakes, then arm airbags and seat-belt pretensioners according to tested protocols, activate safety systems in the event of an impact, and even send out an emergency message!

rightcar.govt.nz/protection-during-a-crash

There are International Standards such as ISO 26262 is a Functional Safety standard, titled “Road vehicles – Functional safety”

Modifications impinge on these Electronic Systems in many ways. Examples include seat and seat-belt modifications, disability adaptions, power train, suspension or brake modifications or changes, and structural modifications.

At present, all of this passes below the Low Volume radar- the Low Volume Vehicle Certifier may or may not identify modifications affecting electronic systems, and may or may not make a sensible decisions about whether the modification can be allowed, if so what the affects might be, and what actions should be taken to achieve a reasonably safe vehicle.
The Low Volume Vehicle Certifier may or may not not adequately understand the implications of the modifications.
The Low Volume Vehicle Certifier may or may not not document all of this for his own records, or may not document anything.

There is no guidance available, and no formal processes for a Low Volume Vehicle Certifier to follow.
The contingent liability for injuries of death could be high- It might be argued that a modification affected an electronic system to the extent of causing or contributing to an accident, or that the modification resulted in greater exposure of the vehicle occupants to Injury or death.

A formal process needs to be written as a “Low Volume Vehicle Standard” to ensure optimized vehicle safety, provide guidance to LVV Certifiers, and to protect all parties from potential legal action.
Such a Standard should follow steps such as : 1 Identify, 2 Quantify, 3 Justify, 4 Certify.

Now check out what a hacker can do:

2 comments to Electronic Systems- LVV standard required?

  • Roger Phillips

    This stands as another example of how the LVV System needs to develop- but won’t if left to the Hot-rodders with their inability to assess or evaluate basic modern technology developments. Drive by wire handcontrols fully certified in other markets have been strangled here, with 1 system approved years ago, but subsequent efforts, particularly by Christchurch based Abiliquip rejected. NZ is touted as too small a market for Euro manufacturers such as Joysteer to set up the required infrastructure here, but thrive in similar size markets like Israel with progressive and inclusive Govt certification policy. This is a byproduct of subversive discriminatory policy fallout engendered by the incompetent LVV system that blocks technology uptake to the detriment of NZ wheelchair users. Current format LVVTA needs to be retired immediately from any Commercial operations before other NZ companies fall victim to their ignorance. In UDM’s cas, despite experts report and NZTA admission the cars are “not unsafe” we have been waiting now for nearly 2 years for this to get sorted, with no end in sight to get our new cars legally NZ certified and back in business!

  • TRIKER

    I heard that the LVVTA have stopped allowing Honda Goldwing Trikes to keep the the ABS system. It works just as well on a trike as it does on a standard Goldwing, but LVVTA make them take it off for the Cert. I hope this doesn’t cause someone to have an accident- an out of control trike is scary. If it was my ride, I’d be putting the ABS straight back on as soon as the Cert plate was on.

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