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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | Rise in safety concerns boosting advanced braking systems demand
Rise in safety concerns boosting advanced braking systems demand
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Increasing sales of passenger cars is boosting the brakes market in India. At the same time, regulatory mandates for making vehicles safer is leading to rising need to use advanced braking systems like ABS (anti-lock braking system), electronic stability control (ESC), etc, says Rakesh Rao.
India accounts for the highest number of road accidents and related fatalities worldwide. In 2018, 4.61 lakh road accidents and 1.49 lakh road fatalities were reported in the country. In fact, over 50 per cent road deaths in recent years have been in the 14-35 year age group - considered to be the prime productive age. According to Asian Development Bank report, seven out of 10 victims’ families suffer decreased income and many victims’ families are driven into poverty or debt. Thus, road fatalities can directly hurt the progress of any country.
Poor braking system - along with other factors like carrying more than the permitted load (for commercial fleets), over speeding of the vehicle and vehicle slippage – is one of the reasons for vehicle accidents. Hence, efficient brakes are important for the vehicle’s and its occupants safety.
“In any vehicle, an efficient braking system is essential not only for the protection of its occupants but also for those outside the vehicle. Absence of such efficient braking system might even result in grave conditions like loss of life of the occupants and people outside including damage to other vehicles and properties. Having said this, it is not only must to have an efficient braking feature, maintenance of it is also equally important. Brake systems make it more efficient by including prognostics and preventive maintenance,” opines Vittal Raddi, Head – India Engineering, Meritor India. Meritor offers majorly the foundation brakes - air drum brakes (brakes include the S-Cam brakes, SAC brakes and wedge brakes) and disc brakes (both air and hydraulic actuated). It also offers brake drums.
According to Avinash Chintawar, Managing Director, Bosch Chassis Systems Pvt Ltd, electronic stability control (ESC) has the potential of avoiding up to 33,000 accidents with a total of 9,000 road deaths and around 14,000 serious injured road users annually. “The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in India has taken various steps in regulating safety critical components in passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and two-wheelers. This in response has increased the demand for systems such as ABS (anti-lock braking system) and ESP (Bosch’s electronic stability program), but more importantly addresses the pressing need for reduction of fatalities and paves the way towards Vision Zero (a multinational road traffic safety project that aims to achieve no fatality or serious injuries involving road traffic),” he added.
Rise in automotive production and increase in vehicle fleet on road is one of the major drivers for brakes market. While drum brake system is old technology and used in low-end of the vehicle market, most of the new cars use a modern disc brake system (which offers superior braking performance with reduced stopping distances). “Today the demand is driven by the regulation and the cost of the system. Drum brakes being cost effective are the most popular, and are also easy to maintain and service,” observes Vittal Raddi.
In regions like North America, drum brakes are in demand as compared to that of Europe with the disc brakes in demand. “Asia Pacific region is primarily serviced by drum brakes. But in China, a recent regulation that has come up is leading to the use of disc brakes on hazardous goods carrying vehicles. Today, auto makers in India use drum brakes for both trucks and buses, though some buses adopt disc brakes on the front axles. But there is a discussion on regulation calling for a change in the vehicle deceleration for tractor-trailer vehicles and hazardous good carrying vehicles. If this happens, a change in the braking system is expected thereby leading to a rise in the use of retarder braking system,” opines Raddi.
To enhance safety, anti-lock braking system (ABS) has been made mandatory in all four- and two-wheelers manufactured in the country from April 1, 2019. “The ABS system detects the tendency of the wheels to lock at an early stage and reduces braking pressure in a targeted manner, thus ensuring vehicle steerability even in cases of full braking or varying road surfaces,” says Avinash Chintawar.
As per the norms, all new two-wheelers with an engine displacement over 125cc have to be equipped with ABS while models with engine displacement of 125cc or below need to have compulsory fitment of combi-braking system (CBS). While premium cars and bikes typically came fitted with ABS as standard across the range, car makers had to add to the latest safety feature due to the new ABS norm.
Similarly, the new axle loads norm – implemented by the Union Transport Ministry in July 2018 to permit trucks to carry upto 25 per cent more weight than before – forced OEMs to make changes in the engines, tyres and brakes of some of their existing truck models. “Regulations like the axle load increase are driving the strengthening of brake structural parts. Brake liners are going through the change for increased brake torque. At the same time, lightweighting and reducing the drag are becoming a key for increasing the payload and fuel efficiency,” states Vittal Raddi.
According to Amit Verma, Director (India, South East & Asia Pacific), AxleTech India Pvt Ltd, regulations play a very important role in technological advancements - whether it is technology, safety or environment – and drive upgradation of machine in any application. “For example, pick & carry crane market uses an old fashioned tractor transmission or in best case commercial vehicle transmission - but either way it is still a primitive idea in context to off highway safety critical crane market. There must be a regulation to use case specific driveline and features like in case of rough terrain cranes and container handlers,” he adds. AxleTech - a global manufacturer of drivetrain systems and components serving the heavy-duty commercial and defence markets - offers products like air disc brakes; hydraulic dry disc brakes; wedge brakes; cam brakes; hydraulic wet disc brakes; park brakes; and combination brakes (service & parking brakes).
The braking industry in India has also been influenced by the increase in the speed limits on the national and express highways. In April 2018, the Indian Road Transport Ministry introduced the updated speed limits with an increase of 20 kmph. The government has increased the speed limit on Indian roads to 120 kmph from 100 kmph for personal four-wheelers and up to 100 kmph for taxis/cabs on express highways. “With the increase in speed limits, the requirement for advanced braking system has also increased, as India ranks among the top countries in road accidents. The increase in the demand for ABS in vehicles is expected to boost the Indian braking system market,” says MarketsandMarkets.
Types of brakes used differ from vehicles to vehicles. Raddi explains, “Passenger cars are similar in nature except the size, but they come with no brake noise. They also come with the other features like EBD (electronic brake force distribution), brake assist and active brake system. These safety features might also become part of the commercial brakes going forward.”
High demand for heavy commercial vehicles and off-highway vehicles is also fuelling the growth of the brakes market. Amit Verma says, “Passenger and commercial vehicle are driven by brake performance at lowest and highest peak torques, and could work on lean load and lean speed. On the other hand, off-highway applications, in most cases, are designed only for peak loads, highest available torque at wheels and relatively lower speeds. Also, passenger vehicles have most front disc rear drum configuration, whereas off-highway vehicles have all wheel same brake design configuration. Heavy duty brakes like wet disc are unique to some critical off-highway applications such as that of reach stackers, heavy duty forklifts and that of container handlers.”
Need more of electronic brakes
Electronic braking system (EBS) - which offers regenerative braking and helps saves battery life and improves the range of vehicle - is considered as the next step of innovation after ABS for Indian vehicles. “Reliable braking has always been a key feature of safe driving and has played a big role in the evolution of braking systems. In case of excessive braking force, the wheels tend to lock leaving the vehicle making it difficult to maneuver and possibly result in skidding. To counter this, Bosch was the first supplier to launch the anti-lock braking system (ABS) in 1978 developed together with the automotive industry onto the global market. ABS laid the foundations for the development of additional modern driving safety systems such as traction control system (TCS) and further, in 1995, one of the most important active safety systems worldwide, the electronic stability program (ESP). With the help of sensors and a central computing unit, the ESP helps in preventing skidding accidents and supports the driver in nearly all critical driving situations. The ESP system offers value-added functions such as hill hold control, roll over mitigation, hydraulic brake assist etc. which further enhance its functionality and ensure vehicle stability in different situations,” says Avinash Chintawar.
Increasing production of automobiles and strict implementation of new safety norms are driving the market of advanced electronic brake systems such as ABS and ESC. Chintawar elaborates, “In India, all passenger cars and two-wheelers above 125cc manufactured since April 2019 mandatorily require ABS fitment. The fitment rate of electronic stability control (ESC) or ESP systems has also been steadily increasing in B/C segment and above cars & utility vehicles over the past few years, thereby echoing the consumer sentiment of opting for safer automobiles.”
Though at present penetration of electronic braking system in India - a price sensitive market - is low, the demand is likely to go up in the next five years. Amit Verma explains, “Demand of electronic braking was always there, but it is an expensive feature to add on and with few exceptions it is lower value per resource spent. But going forward market for such brakes is likely to increase as more Western and Japanese technologies are followed, sourced and applied.”
Lightweighting and fuel efficiency
The braking system’s overall performance has improved considerably due to constant technological developments and innovations. For example, introduction of brake-by-wire system – which uses sensors and actuators for gathering various data such as steering angle, acceleration and wheel speed - will positively impact the growth of the automotive brake linings market in coming years. According to Raddi, emerging trends seen today are the anti-collusion system, advance safety warning, drag reduction and predicting liner wear for better maintenance and replacement.
As a solution for rising fuel consumption, carbon dioxide (CO2) emission and manufacturing costs, automakers are looking at reducing the vehicle weight. Brake system suppliers are also extending their support to lightwieghting of vehicles. For example, Meritor offers STEELite lightweight drums made with an innovative process combining the steel shell and fused with the cast iron lining. “Traditionally, brake drums have been made of cast iron and are heavier. STEELite drums are about 20 per cent lighter than conventional cast drums. Meritor is working on various innovative solutions like the drag reduction in disc brakes for better fuel efficiency and pad life. We are working with multiple sensors required to monitor vibration, temperature, noise and to extend service intervals,” informs Vittal Raddi.
With feature of space optimisation increasingly becoming common in most of the highway vehicles, combination brake (service and parking brakes) has become a trend setter. “This feature requires less overall space and has lesser weight and use same resource to activate service and parking brakes when required in combination or independently. Also, within air brakes, wedge brakes are getting more popular than traditional S cam brakes. If we talk specific to crane application in off-highway much superior hydraulic disc brakes (HDB) are overtaking traditional drum brakes for superior braking performance and better overall efficiency,” says Amit Verma.
It is estimated that about 90 per cent of all road accidents are caused, at least partially, by human error. Vehicle automation – involving the use of mechatronics, artificial intelligence, and multi-agent system to assist a vehicle’s operator – can be an effective tool to minimise road accidents. Avinash Chintawar states, “One of the biggest trends emerging today is vehicle automation - with the potential to permanently improve traffic flows and to make mobility much safer and convenient for all. This is possible with the use of various sensors and a central computing mechanism, however braking systems such as ESP form the most critical components in achieving this transition. ESP when combined with new generation sensors like ultra-sonic sensors, long- and mid-range radar and stereo video camera enables the implementation of array of driver assistance functions which leads to more comfortable and safe driving. The constantly improving interaction between the vehicle’s surround sensors and brake and steering system enables driver assistance maneuvers to be carried out even faster and more precisely, thus assisting in entirely preventing accidents or reduce their consequences.”
Drive towards electrification
In its quest to reduce import bills and reduce carbon emission, the Government of India is pushing for electric vehicles which are preinstalled with the advance braking features such as ABS. Rise is usage of EV is likely to trigger changes in braking systems. “Electric and hybrid vehicles require modular and scalable vacuum-independent solutions for the braking system. Regenerative braking systems from Bosch, such as ESP hev and the vacuum independent iBooster, help in efficient recuperation, lower fuel consumption, reduction in carbon footprint of hybrid vehicles and increase in the range of electric vehicles. Depending on the size of the vehicle, drive technology, degree of electrification and assistance functions, Bosch offers the best cost-optimised solution for each configuration,” opines Chintawar.
One of the major factors driving the demand for braking system in India is increasing sales of passenger cars. Domestic passenger vehicles (PV) sales of 3,377,436 units in 2018-19 broke the previous record of 3,288,581 units in 2017-18. Though the entry level cars segment dominates the market at present, the demand for mid-segment sedans and SUVs has been growing at faster pace with the increase in per capita income. This development, along with the drive towards EV, is likely to offer significant growth opportunities the Indian braking system industry.
According to MarketsandMarkets, the increase in sales of vehicles, government support for electric and hybrid cars, rising demand for comfort & safety features, and regulatory mandates for ABS installation will have a positive outlook on the Indian brake system market, creating a potential business opportunity for the local as well as international players.
It is not only must to have an efficient braking feature, maintenance of it is also equally important. Brake systems make it more efficient by including prognostics and preventive maintenance. Vittal Raddi, Head – India Engineering, Meritor India
Electronic braking system is an expensive feature to add on. However, going forward market for such brakes is likely to increase as more Western and Japanese technologies are followed, sourced and applied. Amit Verma, Director (India, South East & Asia Pacific), AxleTech India Pvt Ltd
The fitment rate of electronic stability control (ESC) or ESP systems has also been steadily increasing in B/C segment and above cars & utility vehicles over the past few years, thereby echoing the consumer sentiment of opting for safer automobiles. Avinash Chintawar, Managing Director, Bosch Chassis Systems Pvt Ltd
Advanced Braking Systems
Electronic Stability Control
Anti Lock Braking System
Asian Development Bank Report
Bosch’S Electronic Stability Program
Combi Braking System
Hydraulic Dry Disc Brakes
Service And Parking Brakes
Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Electronic Braking System
Anti Collusion System
Domestic Passenger Vehicles
Bosch Chassis Systems
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