Indian govt panel wants BNCAP crash ratings tied to improved car connectivity

An Indian government panel has recommended that the automakers who step up connectivity features in their cars to communicate with other vehicles and external systems should score better ratings on Bharat NCAP crash tests, Reuters has reported. The panel has reportedly submitted a draft report, which aims to boost road safety as well as introduce a technical blueprint for the connected cars in India. The Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways would decide the next steps on it, claimed the report.

The government panel has proposed the integration of V2X technology in connected cars in India that will help these cars communicate with each other as well as with other systems on the roads including traffic lights.

The proposal by the government panel reflects steps being weighed by the US, China and multiple other countries in Europe. The panel has reportedly proposed the integration of V2X technology in cars to reduce the risk of accidents and traffic congestion as well. With the V2X technology, the connected cars will be able to communicate with other vehicles as well as with other connected systems on the roads, including traffic lights, claimed the report.

The report claims that the 58-page draft proposal has stated that most of the traffic issues in India occur because of non-line-of-sight scenarios. “Most sensors do not work well in these scenarios and V2X fills the gap,” the proposal reportedly added, referring to the connected car technology commonly known as vehicle-to-everything (V2X). The panel reportedly wants the V2X technology to be considered for inclusion in India’s Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (BNCAP) for car safety ratings. This move comes in line with developments abroad. However, the panel didn’t set any deadline for the adoption of its recommendations.

India is known as a country with an alarmingly high number of road accidents, which cause lakhs of deaths and critical injuries to many people every year. If this proposal introduced by the government panel makes it to rule, it could force the automakers to equip the connected cars with technology using the airwaves to send warnings between drivers and communicate with other road systems.

Currently, the Bharat NCAP doesn’t mandate features to be included by car manufacturers, Instead, it assigns star ratings based on the impact of collisions. However, if the proposals by the government panel are to be considered we may see the government mandating the automakers to equip their connected cars with some advanced features.

At present, some cars on Indian roads feature forward collision warning and emergency braking technology. However, mostly these cars use sensors that can be triggered by close proximity. V2X is a more advanced and connected form of this warning technology, as it relies on a dedicated network to issue warnings even kilometres ahead, which enables the driver to be alert well ahead.

First Published Date: 11 Oct 2023, 16:28 PM IST

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