What the “E-mark” is and why it is a legal requirement
There is a vast amount of electronics present in modern vehicles, controlling everything from the cabin temperature to more safety critical devices such as anti-lock braking systems. Vehicle manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure that all these electronic components operate correctly and do not interfere with one another. After all, if the electronic systems controlling a vehicle’s braking system were to be compromised by interference from another electronic component, the results could be catastrophic.
The E-mark regulations (now covered under ECE Regulation 10) came into being in order to prevent potentially dangerous equipment from being installed into a vehicle. All electronic equipment emits some level of electromagnetic radiation, but products carrying genuine E-mark certification have been thoroughly tested to ensure that these radiated emissions are below a specific threshold, and are therefore not significant enough to interfere with the vehicle’s electronic systems.
Prior to March 2009 the regulations were extremely clear – all equipment installed into a vehicle on a permanent basis was required to be E-mark certified, and it was illegal to drive a vehicle that was fitted with non-compliant equipment. The regulations were changed in March 2009 and now require only devices related to safety-relevant functionality to be E-mark certified. Importantly, devices that have the potential to distract the driver are included in the safety-relevant category. Vehicle computers, which are capable of producing both audible and visual signals, clearly fall under this category and therefore still require E-mark certification.
The E-mark is a world-wide standard, and in the UK Section 60 of the Road Traffic Construction and Use regulations makes it a legal requirement that new vehicles comply with ECE Regulation 10 (i.e. that they do not have any non E-marked products fitted).
The UK body responsible for regulating E-marking is the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), which is part of the Department for Transport. All our in-vehicle computers (with the occasional exception of new models which have not yet completed the certification process, and whose certification status will be clearly indicated as “pending”) have been awarded E-mark certification, which means that they have been tested by a VCA-approved testing facility to ensure that they will not compromise your vehicle’s safety.
Another important part of E-mark certification is conformity of production – confirmation that the manufacturer can consistently produce products to the approval specification. This involves an audit by the relevant approval body (e.g. the VCA) to the manufacturer’s production facilities.
Products are shown as being E-mark certified by a label similar to the one above, showing the letter “E” followed by a code relating to the country in which the approval was granted (e.g. 11 for the UK) and then the approval number. Only after both sample testing and verification of conformity of production have taken place is a product genuinely E-mark certified, and an E-mark approval number can be issued by the relevant authority. A statement that a product is E-mark certified, but without the ability to produce a valid approval number, is meaningless.
Our E-mark approval number is E11 10R-054687, which can be verified by contacting the VCA. We are happy to provide a copy of our E-mark certificate upon request.
Prior to July 2015 In-CarPC’s computers held “e-mark” certification (with a little “e”), which was similar but applicable only in the EU – approval number e11 034687.
Further information is available on the VCA website, at www.dft.gov.uk/vca.
In addition to carrying E-mark certification, all our computers are CE marked.
Ensuring that a driver’s use of an in-vehicle computer is safe is discussed in this blog article. We offer Blank-IT, a solution which ensures that only white-listed applications can show on a driver-visible screen when the vehicle is in motion.
All our computers are RoHS compliant, which means that the concentrations of six hazardous substances, including lead, mercury and cadmium, present in our computers are either zero or are within very strict limits.
Like any responsible manufacturer of IT equipment, we are a member of a WEEE compliance scheme. This ensures that when our car computers reach the end of their working life we will dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way, at no cost to our customers.
Our Producer Registration Number is WEE/JB0292UQ.