In a significant development for automotive safety in India, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, recently inaugurated the Command and Control Center of Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) at the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) in Pune. This move marks a crucial step in enhancing vehicle safety standards in the country.

Bharat NCAP: Raising the Bar in Vehicle Safety

Bharat NCAP, modeled after international counterparts like Euro NCAP and Global NCAP, is set to play a pivotal role in evaluating and promoting the safety of vehicles on Indian roads. The program’s primary objective is to assess the safety features and capabilities of cars through rigorous testing procedures.

Three Crucial Parameters

Similar to its global counterparts, Bharat NCAP will evaluate vehicles based on three key parameters:

  1. Child Occupant Protection: Assessing the safety measures in place to protect child passengers in the event of an accident.
  2. Adult Occupant Protection: Evaluating the vehicle’s ability to safeguard adult occupants during a collision.
  3. Fitment of Safety Assist Technologies: Gauging the presence and effectiveness of safety assist technologies designed to prevent accidents or minimize their impact.
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Star Ratings for Safety

One of the notable aspects of Bharat NCAP is the introduction of a star rating system. After undergoing comprehensive testing, cars will be assigned safety ratings ranging from one star to five stars, providing consumers with a clear and easily understandable measure of a vehicle’s safety performance.

Stringent Testing Standards

Bharat NCAP leaves no room for compromise when it comes to testing standards. In the frontal impact test, vehicles will undergo a rigorous crash test against an offset deformable barrier at a speed of 64 kmph. The side impact test will involve a collision at 50 kmph, ensuring that vehicles can withstand lateral impacts effectively. Additionally, the pole side impact test mandates a minimum rating of 3 stars for all vehicles.

Industry Participation

As a testament to its importance, several automotive manufacturers have already nominated approximately 30 vehicles for testing under the BNCAP (Bharat NCAP) program. This proactive involvement from the industry showcases a collective commitment to raising safety standards in Indian automobiles.

Changes in Airbag Regulations

In a separate announcement, Nitin Gadkari clarified that the previously proposed mandate of six airbags in cars will not be enforced. Initially, there were plans to make six airbags mandatory for all vehicles in the Indian market. However, this regulation was not implemented nationwide. Gadkari further noted that several car manufacturers have voluntarily adopted six airbags as a standard feature across their vehicle variants, aligning with the overarching goal of improving passenger safety.

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In summary, the inauguration of the Command and Control Center for Bharat NCAP represents a significant stride towards safer road travel in India. With stringent testing protocols and a clear rating system, this initiative aims to empower consumers with information while encouraging automakers to prioritize safety in their vehicle designs. Additionally, the revision in airbag regulations reflects a dynamic approach to balancing safety requirements with industry practices, ultimately contributing to a safer driving experience for all.