SIAM, ATMA and ITTAC sharpen focus on tyre safety tech  

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 30 Oct 2021


Think vehicle safety and tyres rank among the most active safety equipment of a vehicle. All steering, braking and accelerating forces between a vehicle and the road are mediated by the tyres. A car is kept on the road and you in control of your car by four contact areas the size of your palm.

The role of the tyres in the safety or a car is especially pronounced under demanding and quickly-changing conditions, be It on bad roads, wet conditions, ice or in surprising situations.

On October 29, apex industry body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), along with Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) and Indian Tyre Technical Advisory Committee (ITTAC) held its third and final virtual edition of ‘Road Safety Advocacy for Tyres.’

The aim of the ‘Tri Series Seminar’ essentially was to spread awareness on various aspects of tyre care, road safety, and sustainability in line with the road safety mission initiated by MoRTH, government of India. While the first edition was on tyre care and road safety, the second was on technology and environmental challenges. The third edition witnessed strong participation from government officials as well as industry leaders and subject experts, who deliberated upon topics such as sustainable mobility, standards and regulations.

In his welcome address, Prashant K Banerjee, Executive Director, SIAM, said, “Tyres are the most neglected, yet the most regulated and the most used part of any vehicle. As regards sustainability, it is important that the industry collectively puts in efforts to develop environmentally friendly tyres. The objective of this series was to impart knowledge and create awareness among motorists on tyre safety, technology, and the upcoming regulations for automobile industry. I want to thank MoRTH for supporting this seminar on Road Safety advocacy for Tyres.”

Guest of Honour, Gaurav H Gupta, Deputy Secretary, MoRTH, said, “Road safety continues to be a concern as it is the leading cause of injury and death across the world, killing more than 30 lakh people globally, with 11 % from our country. Vehicles more than 10 years old accounted for 38% of the accidents. The Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways is committed to bring down these fatalities from Road accidents by 50% till 2030, as per the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Government of India has taken some key initiatives to ensure road Safety such as the creation of the national road safety board, State support program on road and financial grants to institutions on road safety. We must understand that tyre is the most important part of any vehicle but it is often overlooked. Now, new tyre norms are coming in and it will be a big step towards road safety and improving fuel efficiency. Tyre is also a highly regulated product. It’s our mission that no accidents occur due to lack of maintenance and awareness.”

Anshuman Singhania, Chairman, ATMA, said, “The tyre industry and its raw material partners have been putting in efforts to create a sustainable ecosystem using resource efficient raw materials. Our collective vision as an industry is to support a circular economy and increase the use of sustainable materials in tyre manufacturing. The industry is taking a relook at materials, processes and new technology to ensure sustainable tyre manufacturing. Apart from using eco-friendly materials, tyre companies are also putting in efforts to reduce carbon footprint through renewable energy efficient processes. We need to strike a fine balance between comfort, performance, handling, fuel efficiency and safety. The next in line would be connected mobility, where extensive use of sensors will be seen, even in tyres.”

Rajiv Budhraja, Director General, ATMA, said, “The Tri series on ‘Road Safety Advocacy for Tyres’ is truly a milestone event for SIAM and ATMA. This has shaped up the temperament for more such initiatives between the organisations and brought all the stakeholders of the value chain – OEMs, tyre and testing industry, and government organisations together. ATMA and SIAM will collectively take forward such initiatives to make Indian roads safer by bringing in sustainable processes and technology in tyre manufacturing.”

Sudharshan Gusain, Convenor, Safety-SC, ITTAC said, “As regards road safety related to tyres, we must emphasise PART, where P stands for pressure, A for alignment, R for rotation and T for tread. Tread depth measurement is extremely important from a safety perspective. Then comes the magic triangle – Rolling resistance, Wet grip and Wear resistance of tyres. New technologies are coming up offering low rolling resistance, thereby guaranteeing better safety and higher fuel efficiency.”

In the inaugural session, Niteesh K Shukla, Director, ITTAC, highlighted the commitment of the tyre industry towards setting new regulations and standards to make the industry more sustainable.             

This was followed by a presentation on ‘Challenges with the localization program under Aatmanirbhar’ by  Jagdish Hegde, Director and Senior Vice-President –IEBCI, Isuzu Motors India. He spoke about the Indian tyre industry and how things are changing in terms of volumes and demands.

P K Mohamed, Chief Advisor, Research & Technology, Apollo Tyres, in his presentation on ‘Tyre Technology – Past, Present and Future’, spoke about innovations, new materials and technologies.

The next presentation was on ‘Readiness of test infrastructure for standards and labelling program’ by Amit Karwal, Deputy General Manager, ICAT about tests adopted by the Indian tyre industry. He also spoke about the testing infrastructure and AIS regulations in India.

The other two studies were on ‘Lifecycle assessment in automobile value chain’ and ‘Emerging trends in global tyre regulations for sustainable growth’ by Bharat Sharma, Additional Secretary, CPCB, and Dr Thomas Becherer, Manager - Standards & Regulations, EMEA, Continental Tyre (Europe), respectively.