If there is one pavilion at the Auto Expo 2020 Components Show that every visitor must make it a point to see, then it is the Safer Drives Pavilion. This road safety initiative, driven by apex component industry body ACMA, since the past three years in its current avatar and for many years before as Asli Nakli, has now reached newer heights with its latest iteration.
The Safer Drives initiative essentially aims to inform the public, auto component manufacturers, distributors and sellers about road safety and to motivate them to take action for it, while also creating public awareness on the usage of genuine auto parts to prevent road accidents. It is also about urging the public and auto component suppliers and retailers to take a pledge to ensure road safety.
A number of partnering companies are showcasing their innovative efforts in an attempt to enhance vehicle and pedestrian safety on Indian roads. The booth starts off by educating the general public with virtual reality-enabled games which aim to instill awareness about good driving habits and also visually map a driver’s attentiveness on the road by throwing multiple distractions in virtual reality. The Safer Drives Pavilion also displays a driver training simulator.
Road accidents and fatalities up in 2018
What’s worrying is that despite efforts by industry stakeholders to disseminate safety-related information and create more awareness among motorists and people at large, the overall 2018 road crash statistics have actually gone up over those in 2017, a year in which road accidents and fatalities had reduced over 2016. This also means that more needs to be done. Government data for 2018 indicates that the country witnessed 467,044 accidents (+0.46%), which claimed 151,417 lives (+2.37%) and injured 469,418 (-0.33%) individuals, which translates into 415 people not returning home each day. It also means that 17 lives were lost and 53 injured every hour across India.
In spite of road accidents taking such a disturbingly high toll of precious human life, there continues to be deep apathy towards road accident victims and indifference towards road safety rules. In a bid to make Indian roads safer and sensitise the public towards their responsibilities on road, ACMA started the ‘Safer Drives’ initiative in a bid to disseminate information about road safety and also the use of genuine auto parts.
Key participating suppliers at the Pavilion
Hella is showcasing its innovative rain-light sensor (RLS) for aftermarket application which can be integrated into the vehicle BCM and offer automatic headlamp and wiper functionalities. The company has also introduced its unique electronic horn with an electronic PCB and eliminates diaphragm, thimbles and coil to ensure long life.
DriV is displaying its Monroe range of shock absorbers for passenger vehicles and an eco-friendly range of brake pads and brake liners for PVs, two-wheelers and CVs under its Ferodo brand. The company says maintaining high-quality for these safety critical parts is key to remaining safe on the roads.
Homegrown tyre manufacturer JK Tyre has its new range of tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) for two-wheeler and PVs on display. Launched three months ago, it is now offering a GPS-based version under its 'Treel' brand as well, locally manufactured at its plant in Pune.
Noida-based Simulanis is offering its AR, VR and mixed reality (MR) solutions to visualise safety critical things in the virtual world and help training of workers for operations such as welding, fitting and machining. It is offering its services to Maruti, Hyundai and Toyota.
Delhi-based Advantek sees Microdots becoming a crucial means of preventing component counterfeiting and allaying vehicle theft. The company is currently importing the AIS-145-compliant Microdots from Australia and thinks awareness could bring a mandate on its use in the next two- to- three-years.
Sandhar-Amkin's Mavox brand has its entire range of ISI-certified helmets on display. The OX, FX, Hull and the recently launched Honcho series are lightweight and weigh in the range of 1,100gm. The company is producing 1,500 helmets a day and is distributing it through its 72 channel partners across India. It aims to expand rapidly with the cost-effective Honcho series.
GPS tracking is one of the modern ways of ensuring vehicle and occupant safety and Bangalore-based iTriangle has showcased its wide range of AIS-140-compliant GPS tracking devices with panic button, 4G functionality and live camera support to monitor driver activity.
NGO Safe in India Foundation is working closely with the government departments in Haryana and OEMs on the critical subject of rising operational injuries to workers in the automotive supply chain in the IMT Manesar belt. It helps workers get compensation from the ESIC, conduct safety audits at Tier 3 and Tier 4 companies and is fully focused to bring the number of accidents down.
Bangalore-based vehicle servicing start-up Pitstop says a vehicle in the pink of its health accounts for safety on the road. The company has grown over 300 garages across Gurgaon, Bangalore and Delhi-NCR in the last five years and is now set to go into Faridabad, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune with its doorstep diagnosis and repair service.
ACMA plans 10-city Safer Drives campaign
In a bid to extend the impact of the Safer Drives campaign, ACMA plans to take the road safety mission across the country.
Speaking to Autocar Professional recently, Vinnie Mehta, director general, ACMA said: “While it's a very deep subject, now we have moved to a situation wherein even the common man is very conscious of the fact that one needs to be safe and follow road safety rules and regulations. Simple concepts such as wearing a seatbelt are getting ingrained into our psyche. Safer Drives will be a common feature not just for the Auto Expo but also an ongoing 10-city campaign where we will spread awareness in smaller pockets. We will sensitise people and communities such as technicians and mechanics on safety issues and best practices, but largely from the perspective of using genuine components. While most of the safety-related subjects deal with angles of active and passive safety systems, what gets largely ignored is what's underneath the bonnet. One needs to make sure that only genuine replacement parts are being used during repair and maintenance of a vehicle.
"The Asli-Naqli campaign has metamorphosed into what we now call the ACMA Safer Drives. We wanted to bring home the point that if you buy genuine, then everyone on the roads remains safe," concluded Mehta.