PTI – A Success Story
For decades now, the periodical inspection of vehicles on the road (Periodical Technical Inspection – PTI) has been recognized around the world as an important and integral element of environmental compatibility and road safety. The directive on the harmonization of the laws of the member states relating to technical inspections was developed in 1977 on the basis of standards that had already been proven and tested in individual EU member states; this directive specifies the (minimum) standards for PTI. Against the backdrop of the successful application of the EU PTI directive, which has been updated several times (most recently: 2014/45/ EU), the UNECE Convention on uniform prescriptions for periodical technical inspections and mutual recognition of inspection results was adopted in 1997. This laid the foundation for further developing PTI on a harmonized basis beyond the EU framework.
In the same way that the leading role of UNECE with regard to the harmonization regulations for vehicles and vehicle parts is undisputed (1958 Agreement), the EU will be the forerunner in terms of further developing PTI for the foreseeable future. The International PTI institution CITA plays an important role in the process of further developing the content of the regulations.
Updating PTI regulations, as established in the currently applicable EU directive, primarily involves innovative ideas regarding quality management. Following the example of Germany, every EU country is to set up a central supervisory body for quality in vehicle inspections. The use of intelligent driver assistance systems, the increase in electronic components and vehicle–Internet connectivity with simultaneously increasing environmental requirements will have an impact on the future content of PTI. For example, the use of an electronic vehicle interface is explicitly specified; this has already been a part of roadworthiness tests in Germany since 2015 in the form of the HU adapter standard.
The primary objective now should be to harmonize the stilldiverging approaches of the EU and UNECE as quickly as possible, with the general progress made with regard to vehicle and inspection technology being taken into account. The global desire for even greater road safety can most likely be fulfilled by further updating the UNECE agreement of 1997.