India to see boom in demand for vehicle drowsiness alert system as road quality improves
Padmaja AR, Senior Vice President, Business Division Cross-Domain Computing, Bosch Global Software Technologies, believes if infrastructure develops and speed increases 'even a little bit more', then everybody will invariably ask for a drowsiness detection for sure.
With the Indian roads seeming to have gotten better over the past few years, Padmaja AR, Senior Vice President, Business Division Cross-Domain Computing, Bosch Global Software Technologies, believes that even a small increase in the speed limit for vehicles could lead to a rise in demand for drowsiness sensors.
According to Padmaja, as in the past, growth in any automotive industry has happened not much because of legislation but more due to the push from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). "So what we believe is that OEMs see the need for it. One of the reasons for it is that a lot of accidents are happening because of driver drowsiness," Padmaja told Autocar Professional, adding that she believes that if infrastructure develops and speed increases 'even a little bit more', then "everybody will invariably ask for a drowsiness detection for sure," Padmaja added.
She went on to say that, as expected, a lot of the demand for drowsiness components is coming from the commercial vehicle (CV) sector, where drivers are on the road for long periods of time and travel all over the country.
Furthermore, media accounts from December last year suggested that the government is working on a "drowsiness alert system" that could be installed in vehicles, implying that the vehicle drowsiness detection function is about to receive legislative backing. If drivers fell asleep behind the wheel, it would issue radio alerts. According to a survey conducted by the SaveLIFE Foundation (SLF), a road safety NGO, and Mahindra & Mahindra, truck drivers drive 12 hours a day on average, covering nearly 417 kilometers, with nearly one-half admitting to driving even when fatigued and sleepy.
As the name suggests, a driver drowsiness detection system in a vehicle is made up of an algorithm and related software. When the trip starts, it keeps track of how the driver steers and looks for changes in driving patterns, such as sudden and quick braking, pressure on the accelerator paddle, and the driver's level of fatigue. According to Allied Market Research, the global driver monitoring systems market was valued at US$1.8 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US$4.6 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 10.2 percent from 2022 to 2031.
The development should be seen in the context of the fact that at least one person dies every three minutes in India, as per the latest statistics revealed by the Ministry of Road Transportation & Highways (MoRTH). The rising number of traffic accidents—4,12,432 in total, with 1,53,972 deaths in CY21—is cause for concern at a time when the Indian government has been raising vehicle safety standards with mandates such as mandatory airbags, anti-braking systems (ABS), and combined braking systems (CBS), as well as the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme.
Another important feature is the emergency braking system, though it is not as popular as drowsiness detection systems. Padmaja said that emergency braking systems are more in demand from OEMs that make passenger cars than from OEMs that make commercial vehicles. She believes that demand should derive more from the CV segment.
The demand pattern in the Indian market is similar to that of China but differs from that of other mature markets, such as those in Western nations. More people in such countries want their vehicles to have "assist functions" that help with driving at high speeds, like lane-assist and lane departure, among other things, Padmaja stated.
Worryingly, the percentage of deaths to the total number of accidents has been steadily increasing over the past five years. It increased by 28.3 percent, 29 percent, 29.5 percent, 30.7 percent, and 34.5 percent during 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively. These features should hopefully help reduce accidents.
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