India Auto Inc's transition from BS III to BS IV was anything but smooth. In contrast, the leapfrogging from BS IV to BS VI should be a smoother one, what with full clarity now that only BS VI-compliant vehicles can be on sale starting April 1, 2020. What's good to know is that industry players are already well into their BS VI projects.
This also means R&D teams, both at OEMs and component suppliers, are busier than ever before. And, they are working not only on BS VI projects but also on the megatrends of electric mobility, connected vehicle technologies, and shared mobility. And then there's autonomous driving too to prepare for. Reason enough for Autocar Professional to come up with this Automotive R&D and Testing Special. Come along for the exciting drive as we reveal the plentiful innovations and advances that some farsighted companies have achieved.
Germany-based FEV, which operates a wide range of modern engine test cells, vehicle application facilities and laboratories worldwide, is already ready with its BS VI testing services at its India Technical Centre in Pune. And it is readying electric mobility test benches too. Clearly, this company is bullish on the Indian market, readying to take on industry's new challenges as new business opportunities as a complete design and development solutions provider to Indian industry. Importantly, FEV remains wedded to both diesel and petrol engines as Thomas Korcer, Group VP (Diesel Powertrains), FEV, and Henning Baumgarten, Group VP (Gasoline Powertrains) tell Autocar Professional.
In similar fashion, the Pune-based Tata AutoComp Systems is already ready for new megatrends with a battery of new products. As Amit Panday reveals from his visit to the company's recent Technology Day, held at the Tata Ficosa plant site in Chakan, this Tier 1 supplier, along with its seven JVs, is already armed with a plethora of products targeted at OEMs through the routes of BS VI, vehicle electrification, ADAS, shared and connected mobility.
And when it comes to giving vehicles and components the rigorous test treatment in a simulated environment, MTS Systems says it has what it takes to enable OEMs and suppliers to accelerate development times, reduce time and costs, improve vehicle design, while optimising performance and efficiency.
Think simulation and the need for quality software is paramount. Find out how National Instruments, with its software-intensive testing tools, is enabling engineers to do more, innovate faster, and easily integrate new technologies into products of the future.
Eaton is another global major hugely confident about its progress in the India market. The power management firm is ready with a number of solutions designed to meet new axle load norms for heavy trucks, BS VI-compliant products, EVs and is also set to introduce its automated manual transmission systems in the CV industry.
Tata Motors, which is riding a huge wave of demand for both its passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles, is putting its shoulder to the R&D wheel of R&D to come up with game-changing products. The just-revealed Tata Harrier SUV, which is based on the modular Omega platform, is one such example. And, as Rajendra Petkar, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Motors, tells Sumantra Barooah, "Our focus is going to be on building technology, capability, scale and capacities in R&D to be able to ride emerging trends." The company's competition stands warned!
As new vehicles emerge out of company production lines, there is a growing need for comprehensive testing within India. And the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP) has just that at NATRAX (Indore), iCAT (Manesar), and GARC (Chennai). And it's planning to set up an EV charger testing facility, as Neeti Sarkar, CEO and Project Director, NATRiP, tells Autocar Professional in an interview.
In our Guest Column section, auto and fuel expert and industry veteran KK Gandhi writes on 'How India can drive towards an emission-free future'.
For decades, changing oil and filters has been a cumbersome process and the level of service efficiency varies too. Now, US-based start-up Nexcel has developed a new sealed oil technology that enables 90-second oil changes!
New launches and reveals aplenty
The past fortnight saw plenty of new product launches and reveals on two and four wheels. We bring you all the action and analysis, whether it is Taiwan's Kymco eyeing a slice of the booming Indian market, Hero MotoCorp riding into the 125cc scooter arena with the new Destini 125, Hyundai Motor India reviving the Santro, Nissan revealing the India-spec Kicks SUV, Tata Motors getting sporty with the JTP variants of the Tiago and Tigor, or Mahindra & Mahindra upping the ante in the small CV market with the Maha Bolero Pik-Up.
Plenty of new vehicles in a market with not-so-adept planning also means gridlocked traffic and worse. India's urban mobility landscape needs a fundamental shift. We report on a recent CII conference in Bangalore, where industry leaders met to discuss and debate current and emerging challenges.
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