Mahindra to expand ADAS features across its SUV lineup

The company aims to democratise ADAS technology following XUV700's success.

By Shapur Kotwal, Autocar India calendar 05 Aug 2023 Views icon17180 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Mahindra to expand ADAS features across its SUV lineup

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems or ADAS is fast gaining acceptance amongst Mahindra SUV buyers. According to the company, a relatively high percentage of its over 1,00,000 XUV700 customers have opted for the system, although Mahindra isn't saying exactly how many. The XUV700's ADAS includes lane keep assist, front collision warning, smart pilot assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, high beam assist and traffic sign recognition.

ADAS a key buying factor on XUV700
Few people at Mahindra expected the XUV700’s ADAS systems to draw so many customers. Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director and CEO of the automobile business said that he was personally surprised with the demand. “Our top-of-the-line XUV model is doing exceptionally well,” he explains, “and customers say ADAS is a key factor when making the purchase decision.” The goal of ADAS, according to Jejurikar, is to provide the customer with greater comfort and safety, and he says it is one of the prime reasons why Mahindra customers are willing to pay the extra amount for this technology.

However, it must be noted that ADAS is not sold separately as a feature add-on, and instead comes bundled with the top-spec AX7 variant. Thus, demand for ADAS could also be driven by the strong desire to have the fully loaded version, which is a fact for most cars today. Honda, too, says 90 percent of its customers have opted for ADAS versions of the City, but even here, three of its four variants come equipped with ADAS. So it remains to be seen how many customers will pay for the system itself.

ADAS to feature on more Mahindras 
As the technology gets more affordable, more mature and better accepted, more buyers will want it. Jejurikar is bullish on the demand and utility of the systems even in our difficult conditions. “The technology is super relevant for Indian conditions, and we would like to incorporate ADAS into other vehicles in our portfolio.” These are likely to include the Scorpio N, the soon to be revealed pickup version of the Scorpio, followed by the XUV300 and XUV400. Mahindra has also hinted that future SUVs will be compliant with Level 2 Driving Automation as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). To qualify for SAE Level 2, the systems must include brake, accelerator and steering intervention, as well as lane centring and adaptive cruise control. However, the driver will still need to supervise and intervene according to the conditions or as instructed.

ADAS in India
First seen on luxury cars like Mercedes and Volvo, ADAS systems today are making their way onto mainstream cars and SUVs. The list of affordable cars currently available with ADAS range from the Honda City and Hyundai Verna to MG’s HectorAstor and ZS, and Tata’s Harrier and Safari. While customers have taken to the tech enthusiastically, integration of the system in India hasn’t been totally seamless. Our chaotic traffic and road conditions are partly to blame (often systems need recalibration), and what compounds the problem is that some drivers don’t understand the limitations of the systems fully, leading to abuse and misuse. Additionally, problems have been reported with systems from almost all manufacturers, Mahindra included.

The Mercedes emergency braking system, for example, is sub-optimal (intervention is often too strong), and there are plenty of complaints from Tesla owners too. One thing’s for sure, ADAS tech is complex and difficult to execute perfectly, but while it may not be fail-safe, it can make your car safer if used correctly.

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