Starting from April 1, 2018, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) will be introduced as standard equipment on two-wheelers in India.
On March 16, 2016 the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) issued a notification that effective from April 1, 2018, all two-wheelers above 125cc will have to be equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS).
For two-wheelers with an engine displacement less than or equal to 125cc, manufacturers have the choice of installing either ABS or the combined brake system (CBS) in order to meet the mandate.
As per the government draft, all new vehicle models launched in category L2 with engine capacity equal to or less than 125cc, with maximum power equal to or more than 11kw/16.09bhp, and power-to-weight ratio equal to or more than 0.1 kw/kg (0.134bhp) manufactured on and after April 1, 2018 will be fitted with an ABS or CBS conforming to IS: 14664: 2010.
By making ABS compulsory for two-wheelers, the Indian government aims to both improve safety and reduce the likelihood of raod accidents. In India, riding concerns primarily revolve around the country’s infrastructure concerns and unpredictable riding conditions.
It is understood that two-wheeler manufacturers in the country are currently engaged in talks to understand the ramifictions of the government directive.
It can be recalled that in December 2014, Autocar Professional first broke the news of ARAI proposing mandatory ABS for two-wheelers above 125cc.
German automotive component supplier Bosch is one of the world's leading suppliers of ABS for two-wheelers. Speaking about the new development in the Indian market, Sandeep N, head of Bosch’s new business unit ‘Two-Wheelers & Powersports’ in India, said: “Technologies such as motorcycle ABS are key enablers that could help improve the quality of life. Motorcycle ABS has the potential to significantly reduce accidents pertaining to two-wheeler related fatalities.”
According to a report filed by MoRTH in 2012, approximately 36,000 people died in India while riding a two-wheeler. This accounts for nearly 26 percent of the total traffic accidents.
Also read: Rashmi Urdhwareshe, director of ARAI, speaks about vehicle safety norms in India
Mandatory fitment of motorcycle ABS means a significant step forward along the way to saving lives in India. An estimation from Bosch’s accident research study suggests that every third accident involving a two-wheeler can be avoided through fitment of motorcycle ABS. Going beyond, the equipment can also reduce the collision speed of every fifth accident, thus helping to reduce the severity of injuries sustained.
Since 1995, the German technology supplier has manufactured over two million units of the ABS for two-wheelers. In 2015, it introduced a new generation of its motorcycle ABS – ABS 10 – which is up to 30 percent lighter than the current ABS 9 and specifically developed for the use in emerging markets.
In the European Union, motorcycle ABS has been mandated for all new vehicle types from the beginning of 2016. Similar legislation will also be applicable in Japan from 2018 and in Taiwan from 2019. In Brazil, it is set to apply to two-wheelers with an engine displacement equal to or more than 300cc, ramping up between 2016 and 2019. ABS for two-wheelers is also on the political agenda in the US and Australia.
More riding safety for emerging markets
This legislation in India has the potential to influence other emerging markets, such as Indonesia and Thailand, where small two-wheelers also count as the most important means of transportation.
Each year some 21,000 people die in the two-wheeler-accidents in Indonesia and Thailand. Evidence of the extent to which motorcycle ABS increases safety can be found in accident analyses conducted in these two countries. Estimations show that roughly one in four accidents in these countries could have been prevented with the help of ABS.
The antilock braking system enables riders to brake without fear, so they react more quickly and with more power. For example, it prevents the front wheel from locking during an emergency braking maneuvre. This means the two-wheeler remains stable, making it easier to avoid a fall.
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