'We are extensively testing ADAS in India': Maruti Suzuki’s CV Raman
Maruti Suzuki India is charting out an ADAS roadmap from a consumer value-proposition perspective, given many advanced features continue to remain unusable on Indian roads, says Chief Technical Officer CV Raman.
With growing penetration of advanced driver assistance systems or ADAS features in new passenger vehicles being introduced in India, Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), which is yet to offer the safety technology in any of its products, says it is deeply evaluating the merit of the technology on our roads, and charting out a roadmap.
According to CV Raman, Chief Technical Officer, MSIL, "While it is possible to offer ADAS in our vehicles today, many of the functionalities cannot be used in the city whereas some can only be leveraged on the highway. Therefore, we are looking at the value proposition to the end customer with respect to the beneficial usage of ADAS.”
Maruti Suzuki India, which has introduced its flagship offering – Invicto – has chosen to not offer ADAS in the premium MPV, which is based on the Toyota Innova HyCross that comes equipped with ADAS features such as lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and cross-traffic alerts among others, in its top-end variant. The company is also behind its chief rivals Hyundai Motor India and Honda Cars India, which have introduced ADAS in the latest iterations of their midsize sedans, the Verna and City, respectively, which compete against the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.
“ADAS must be relevant for India in the sense that it should be beneficial in avoiding or reducing accidents on our roads. Therefore, we are evaluating and charting out a roadmap, based on the technological relevance for our market,” said Raman.
“While the technology is available with Suzuki (Motor Corp), it is the merit of the technology in Indian conditions, as well as the value proposition to the customer, that is what we are looking at. We are extensively testing ADAS in India,” he confirmed.
The Indian automotive industry is witnessing a significant rise in the demand for ADAS with the need to enhance road safety and driving convenience. However, unlike developed economies, the country faces a significant challenge of poor road infrastructure such as the lack of standardised signage and lane markings, the pre-requisites for the reliable functioning of the sensor-fusion-based safety technology.
Developing ADAS for the Indian market, therefore, requires adapting to these unique road infrastructure challenges. This includes accounting for diverse road conditions, unpredictable traffic patterns and addressing the lack of lane markings. ADAS technology needs to be robust enough to handle the varying scenarios in the driving environment and provide accurate and reliable assistance to drivers.
According to Ramanathan Srinivasan, Managing Director, Automotive Test Systems (ATS), “The ADAS technology in India must be tuned for Indian conditions and developing ADAS for the Indian market requires adapting to the country’s unique road infrastructure challenges. ADAS testing and validation is extremely complex, and requires evaluation of almost 200,000 scenarios on the track or in simulation.”
Growing level of ADAS penetration in India
On the other hand, leading passenger vehicle manufacturers such as Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hyundai Motor India, Honda Cars India, as well as MG Motor India, have started offering ADAS technologies in some of their popular models on sale in the country. The Mahindra XUV700 SUV, for instance, gets a raft of radar- and camera-based ADAS features such as lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot detection.
Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor India is also witnessing strong consumer traction for ADAS features, and claims that the ADAS-equipped variants of its newly-launched sixth-generation Verna sedan are contributing up to 15 percent of the model’s total sales. German Tier-1 technology supplier Continental, which globally supplies ADAS to its customers, is witnessing strong demand from the Indian market for its modular solutions, which could lower OEM costs by implementing a core technology across multiple platforms, and leveraging economies of scale.
In a recent interview with Autocar Professional, Franz Petznick, Head, ADAS Business Unit, Continental, said, “We aim to make a solution which might not be customised to the last end for an OEM, but is easier to adapt to multiple car lines, and emerges to be cost effective. This is what we need to target for India, and we are trying to bring these functions in a cost-effective application mode in India.”
“ADAS features are increasingly becoming a trend in the Indian market, and are likely to become more mainstream over the next three years,” Petznick had said.
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