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Business News/ Auto News / India adopts Bharat NCAP for safe roads
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India adopts Bharat NCAP for safe roads

Nitin Gadkari announced the launch of a new vehicle safety norm under B-NCAP, and emphasized the importance of safer vehicles in India, where there are 5 lakh accidents and 1.5 lakh deaths annually.

The programme will assign star ratings based on their performance in crash tests similar to global NCAP and European NCAP, ultimately improving road safety in the country.Premium
The programme will assign star ratings based on their performance in crash tests similar to global NCAP and European NCAP, ultimately improving road safety in the country.

New Delhi: The government, in partnership with London-based Global NCAP, will introduce the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (BNCAP) crash testing standards for vehicles starting 1 October to enhance road safety in India, a nation with some of the world’s deadliest roads.

Union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari unveiled the programme aimed at crash testing motor vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes and assigning star ratings based on their performance.

Gadkari emphasized the importance of road safety in India, a country witnessing a staggering 500,000 annual road accidents resulting in 150,000 deaths, translating into a daily toll of about 400.

“This is the time when we have the highest priority for how we can save the lives of people," Gadkari said.

Under the BNCAP framework, vehicles will be assigned star ratings, facilitating consumers in selecting safer cars and encouraging competition among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to produce safer vehicles. The new system will become operational on 1 October, with about 6-8 government-certified testing stations already operational near auto hubs in the country. “This is a significant step towards ensuring the structural and passenger safety of cars in India," Gadkari said, emphasizing that the initiative would not only make Indian cars safer, but also boost exports.

The programme aims to increase the localization of safety components, ultimately contributing to the production of safer vehicles in the country. Initially, crash testing will be voluntary, but as testing capacity becomes more readily available, the rules may be made more stringent.

One of the notable aspects of BNCAP is its alignment with global crash test protocols while considering existing Indian regulations. This alignment enables OEMs to conduct vehicle testing in India, reducing the costs of sending cars to NCAP-accredited centres abroad. “Today, we have a report given to me that requests to test and certify more than 30 models of different companies under BNCAP have already been received. I am really happy with the response," Gadkari said.

India’s automotive industry, currently the world’s third-largest in terms of production, is set to benefit greatly from BNCAP. Gadkari envisions India becoming a global leader in the industry, offering high-quality vehicles at competitive prices.

Rajeev Singh, partner and consumer industry leader at Deloitte Asia Pacific, said, “Having our own norms and test facilities for the safety of vehicles is very timely and win-win for all."

Renault India’s country chief executive and managing director Venkatram Mamillapalle emphasized the initiative’s importance in curbing road fatalities. “The Government of India’s timely and historical introduction of Bharat NCAP showcases its dedication to safeguarding its citizens and advancing road safety," he said.

The BNCAP programme aims to harmonize Indian crash safety standards with international benchmarks, reflecting the principles of Global NCAP.

This assessment framework is based on three pillars: adult and child occupant safety, along with the incorporation of safety assist technologies such as electronic stability control, anti-lock braking systems, airbags, and seat belt reminders.

Every vehicle model will undergo rigorous frontal and side-impact assessments, with the former being executed at a velocity of 64 kmph. Should a vehicle attain a safety rating of three stars or higher, it will be subject to an additional pole-side impact test.

Each category is assigned a range of maximum and minimum points, determining the star rating. For instance, a vehicle must be equipped with front seat belt reminders and electronic stability control to achieve a three-star rating.

Notably, the revamped NCAP programme will extend its scrutiny to encompass CNG and electric vehicles (EVs). The government has committed to update the assessment criteria to accommodate emerging technologies, including those addressing EV-specific safety concerns.m

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Published: 22 Aug 2023, 01:08 PM IST
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