Today, Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer presented the first general type approval for an HGV turn assist system. This is a crucial step in pushing ahead with a scheme to equip heavy goods vehicles with turn assist systems and prevent accidents involving a turning vehicle.
We are giving HGV turn assist systems a seal of quality. Many HGV owners have so far been unsure whether the systems available are actually safe. The first general type approval now gives them certainty. It confirms that a system meets the technical requirements and can be installed in vehicles. That is a major step. Because it means that life-saving turn assist systems will become more widespread.
For this reason, Federal Minister Scheuer launched the "Turn Assist Scheme" in July 2018 to speed up the voluntary introduction of turn assist systems. Since then, 44 official safety partners, including all the major supermarket chains, have joined the scheme. They are retrofitting their HGVs, thereby enhancing safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
As part of the scheme, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has also launched a new funding programme that provides financial assistance for the fitting and retrofitting of turn assist systems. The "Turn Assist System Funding Programme" has been a great success. The funds available for this purpose in the 2019 budget had all been committed after only a few days. The Ministry is providing a total of 5 million euros to fund the voluntary fitting of HGVs. It has been possible to submit both applications for new vehicle registrations and applications for retrofit solutions on vehicles placed on the market before the fitting of turn assist systems becomes mandatory throughout the EU. A system is eligible for funding if it has been given individual approval by an expert or if it has a general type approval.
The first general type approval, which was presented today, was issued by the Federal Motor Transport Authority to LUIS Technology GmbH from Hamburg. Other manufacturers have already submitted an application for issuance of a general type approval to the Federal Motor Transport Authority or are about to do so.
Only last week, the 177th session of the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) voted unanimously in favour of a new regulation on turn assist systems, which is based largely on a draft prepared by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and would, for the first time, establish binding requirements to be met by turn assist systems for the mandatory fitting of these systems to be implemented by the EU.