There is a great deal of focus across the automotive industry globally on vehicle safety – over the years industry stakeholders have resorted to a considerable amount of brainstorming to identify ways and means to mitigate road traffic deaths. Road accident-induced fatalities is indeed a grave concern for the entire automotive ecosystem, especially in the Indian context the concerns are huge given the appalling road accident-related fatality record the country has registered over the years.
India registers around 1.5 lakh road fatalities, which translates into a road accident-related death every four minutes across the country. This piece of statistics is quite a disturbing one. On the government front, several initiatives have been undertaken towards road safety – the most prominent being passing of the New Motor Vehicle Act that brings to the fore heavy penalties for traffic violators. Further, the government is also promoting the 4Es - Education, Engineering, Enforcement & Emergency Care towards alleviating road accident-induced fatalities across the country. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) can play a pivotal role in mitigating road accident-triggered fatalities across the country. On the globally front, ADAS features have found prevalence in Europe, US, China and Japan but as far as India is concerned, the mass deployment of the ADAS technology is a big talking point.
Dr Manaswini Rath, VP & Global Head, Autonomous Driving, KPIT Technologies, said the implementation of the ADAS technology will have its fair share of challenges in the Indian market. “ADAS is a need for the Indian market, but we must not discount the fact that the Indian environment is too complex for such a technology. The rate of accidents in India is very high and the lack of disciplined driving only adds to the problems. But factoring in the complex Indian environment ADAS can work in variations and its algorithms can be tweaked for the Indian needs,” she said.
Dr Rath is optimistic that ADAS can be turned into a reality. “Infrastructure plays a big role in successful adoption of ADAS. It is not impossible to build minimum possible infrastructure, creating lane discipline and enforcing disciplined driving on highways. There is a need to build more awareness about ADAS so that vehicle users fathom the benefits of leveraging this technology. Creating capabilities to localise global solutions for the Indian market is very much doable and of course, a lot will hinge on how OEMs take the lead as a high degree of collaboration will be needed between various stakeholders,” she noted.
The senior KPIT Technologies official believes that India can play a big role to play in the whole ADAS economy. “Look, in ADAS or autonomous technologies a majority of engineering is software unlike other systems although hardware plays a role. India given its massive software talent could be a significant software contributor for ADAS. Virtual simulation and validation are of importance for ADAS and I think India could be a big testing house as simulation is virtual, as we don’t need a road to test ADAS applications and functions. We only require videos and conditions captured in data,” she noted.
Dr Rath shared her perspective on how India is building a different ADAS ecosystem. “The ADAS ecosystem partnership is evolving in India, wherein the relation between OEMs and Tier I suppliers is no more a supplier relation as both are operating as partners. OEM, Tier I suppliers and third party technology partners are all striving to share investments and risks involved in the development of the ADAS technology aimed at contributing to the overall ADAS solution,” she observed.