In 2021 ECG initiated a project called Digital Vehicle Handover (DVH) with the objective of making sure that the available technical solutions on the market are interoperable and also integrate the results of manual inspections. The first logical step that our working group took in the standardisation process was to elaborate an image standard, which is included as Session II of the recommendation.
Many other implications of using this technology have been discussed by the group, which also examined the development of Artificial Intelligence in these solutions (Session III). It became apparent that this aspect of the technology is still a long way from reaching an acceptable level of accuracy in the supply chain. Therefore, the group dedicated its time to the discussions about the solutions that propose a condition capture of the vehicle, where the retrospective allocation of liability is supported by the photos taken at various stages in the supply chain.
However, these solutions might pose some legal challenges, e.g. initiating a damage claim some time after the physical handover took place. ECG’s working assumption is that existing international regulations (e.g. CMR) will not be changed in the foreseeable future and that modern processes will have to be introduced despite potential conflict with some aspects of these regulations.
Clearly, the industry cannot avoid implementing modern processes and technologies simply because outdated legislation does not cater for them. ECG has therefore looked at measures that can be taken to try to mitigate this situation. It is important that contracts reflect the agreed processes even if this is in conflict with the relevant legislation. So, ECG engaged a specialist transport lawyer to develop a protocol (in Section IV) which can be added to new and existing contracts and which recognises this new way of working and handling claims in Finished Vehicle Logistics.
This in no way takes precedence over the international regulations but it would demonstrate an agreement between parties to implement modern technology nevertheless.