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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | 2020: A turnaround year?
2020: A turnaround year?
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It is estimated that one Indian city is wiped out every year due to road accidents. In 2018 alone, a mind-boggling 149,000 people lost their lives on Indian roads, which is equivalent to the population of Meghalaya’s capital Shillong. The average road death toll in the last one decade is 130,000 per year, a figure that surpasses the population of many small Indian cities.
Though India accounts for just 2 per cent of automotives globally, it tops the automotive fatalities ranking list in the world, accounting for almost 11 per cent. Over-speeding alone was responsible for 64 per cent of road deaths in 2018, followed by lack of lane discipline (driving on the wrong side) and drunken driving.
Taking a strong view on this, the Government introduced a stringent Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019 imposing hefty fines and imprisonment for traffic violators. In fact, 2019 witnessed the largest number of safety norms (for active as well as passive safety) being introduced in the country for vehicles. Last year saw mandatory incorporation of new safety systems like anti-lock braking system (ABS), airbags, etc. As per the new crash-test standards, all new cars on sale in India from October 2019 have to undergo rigid testing for full-frontal impact, offset-frontal impact, and side-impact. The government is now reportedly planning to make addition of Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) mandatory for all cars by 2022. Experts believe safety requirements and adoptions will grow (regardless of the legislation) in the next few years as vehicles (across sectors) evolve.
As passenger safety becomes prime focus of automakers and the government agencies, suppliers of auto safety products and solutions are bound to gain. In 2017, about 60 per cent of vehicle sold in India had airbags. By the end of 2020, it is expected to reach to 100 per cent. Increasing consumer awareness about safety and comfort is also contributing to the growth of vehicle safety market in India. To tap this consumer trend, auto makers are incorporating more safety features in their new models to stand out in a crowded marketplace. The usage of embedded electronics to provide safety – for examples seat belt reminders, speed limiting beeps, tyre pressure indicators, lane change warnings, etc - is also increasing.
As a signatory to the 2015 Brasilia declaration, India has committed to reduce the number of road accidents and deaths to half by 2020. Though the government has just taken a few steps in this direction, it will be a herculean task to achieve the goal.
2019 was a forgettable year for Indian auto makers with the industry expected to close 2019-20 with a decline of 13-17 per cent as compared with last financial year. Battered by an unprecedented slowdown, the Indian auto industry now pins its hopes on the next financial year for a turnaround with a healthy pickup in sales.
We wish APF readers a safe and healthy 2020!
Motor Vehicle Amendment Act 2019
Anti Lock Braking System
Tyre Pressure Indicators
Indian Auto Industry
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