Safety is a crucial aspect for an automobile, which many of us avoid while considering a purchase of a vehicle. All we dwell upon is the styling, features, price, fuel efficiency and so on. We have seen how comprehensively Global NCAP tests the safety aspects of vehicles internationally before they are sold and buyers also heed the results, choosing the right and safe vehicles. Finally, in India, we will witness similar state of the art facility, where complete crash tests of all new cars will happen in our country.
The Road Transport Ministry of India has begun the process of setting standards for the New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP). Currently, the cars sold in India only undergo front and rear crash tests. After the implementation of NCAP, all new cars will have to undergo crash tests to get certification and safety ratings for their structural strength. To finalize NCAP, our road transport minister, Oscar Fernandes has announced that consultation with other ministries and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has started.
The process will take some time, most probably around two years, since the standards have to be fixed. The norms and standards of Europe are on a different level when compared to those of India, so it is a time consuming activity of setting standards. Currently many states in India have not even notified the maximum speed limit. To carry out the advanced safety tests, National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP) is setting up sate-of-art facility under Centre of Excellence for Passive Safety at GARC-Chennai.
Two other passive safety facilities are also being prepared at iCAT and ARAI. The safety facility in Chennai will perform frontal car to car crash, sled test, full vehicle crash test and angular car-to-car crash. The advanced lab will have the ability to perform EuroNCAP and USANCAP tests featuring special equipments to measure and film crash test. Climatic control of the impact zone is also required to conduct such high intensity tests.