Road safety is undergoing a transformation in India. The implementation of safety regulations and stringent crash test norms as well as increasing safety awareness among end users is driving this change. With a number of vehicle safety mandates set to kick in this year, vehicle manufacturers are looking to enhance the safety quotient in their products.
From July 1, all new cars in India will have to be equipped with a driver-side airbag, a speed warning system, a seatbelt reminder for driver and co-driver, and rear parking sensors as standard. As a result, suppliers of safety equipment are scrambling to cater to the huge demand that will come about due to the new regulations.
Today, technology company Continental has announced that it has added a new assembly line to manufacture airbag control units (ACUs) at its Central Electronics Plant in Bangalore. Dr. Bernhard Klumpp, Head of Continental’s Passive Safety & Sensorics business unit, said: “The adoption of safety technologies in India is on the rise. Two of the factors driving this are government-regulated safety norms and growing awareness among consumers. Vision Zero is ambitious, but we are guiding the world of mobility towards it with our cutting-edge safety technologies. Our localisation strategy ensures that our technologies are affordable on local markets, consequently achieving a fundamental level of safety.”
Prashanth Doreswamy, market head of Continental India and managing director of Continental Automotive India, added: “We are continuing to invest in India to support its growing market. With the increase in safety awareness and legislative norms in India, demand for safety technologies is at an all-time high. Continental is prepared to address this need. We are fully committed to making mobility safer in India, and to supporting OEMs in adopting technologies efficiently.”
Sukhdeep Sandhu, Head of the Passive Safety & Sensorics business unit in India, commented about the new development: “We are committed to the Indian market. Our state-of-the-art production line for airbag control units began operation in 2016 at our Central Electronics Plant in Bangalore, long before legislation came into effect. Today we are working at full capacity, supplying our local market and exporting to Japan and Thailand. Adding the second production line will enhance our capacity significantly, which will help us to meet the increasing requirements of more OEMs in India.”
Continental's entry level Airbag Control Unit is the basic version of the Passive Safety Electronic System for automotive OEMs in emerging markets. It provides the elementary features for front and rear impact protection by front airbags and belt pretensioners. The extended version can be additionally equipped with side impact protection and seat belt reminding functions.
Each version of Continental’s Airbag Control Unit is based on a modular safety platform called SPEED (Safety Platform for Efficient & Economical Design), which is scalable, flexible, and cost optimized via modular building blocks. With its basic functions and integration option of additional safety functions, it is designed to meet all market requirements.
The basic version supports basic passive safety functions and therefore is suited to rising demand for cost-effective safety features, such front and side airbags and belt pretensioners, in emerging markets. Additional safety functions such as Vehicle Dynamics Sensing, Rollover Detection, and Event Data Recording can be integrated within the modular concept.
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