Director of the BIPM
Business and citizens around the world depend on
access to safe and reliable transport. It is one of the factors that is most
important in enabling a successful modern society.
Whilst the needs for new and improved means of
transport are clear, it is also important that they meet increasing requirements
for economy and environmental performance. Every type of transport, from
bicycles to container ships, from cars to space craft are required to meet
appropriate standards. They are needed as the basis for national and
international regulation. They can specify requirements for every aspect of performance
from safety and economy, to emissions.
The implementation of standards depends on measurement
technology and measurement standards. Some of the most demanding that are
underpinned by the work of national metrology institutes include:
accurate and rapid weighing of
shipping containers to ensure the safe loading of container ships;
characterisation of low friction
surfaces and aerodynamic shapes of aircraft to minimize fuel consumption;
measurements of the chemical composition of vehicle emissions to support
regulators and city authorities in controlling pollution levels.
As the demands for accessible and efficient transport
increase, so demands like these for measurements and standards to underpin them
will too. Some of these demands will ultimately be met by new technologies such
as driverless cars and zero-emission vehicles, which in turn will generate new