Sandeep Bharadwaj, CEO of PMI Electro Mobility Solutions and an avid cyclist, said, “No level of electronic assistance can protect a rider from road accidents unless and unless they follow the rules and steer the machine properly.”
Join the panel discussion – Two-wheelers are key to reducing road deaths by 50% by 2025, part of the second virtual edition of the webinar – ‘Making mobility safe and secure’ organized by mobile outlookBharadwaj expressed concern that several people were riding without helmets or even shoes.
Moreover, people don’t know that the human skull can be crushed with a force of 2 kilograms, while the strongest bone in the human body, the thigh bone, can be crushed with a force of 75 kilograms. Therefore, “even if a truck with a load of 25 tons approaches a two-wheeler at 2 km/h, the rider has no chance of survival,” he asserted.
2Ws have a higher death toll
Ramashankar Pandey, MD, Hella India Lighting, commented on the panel discussion that more than 400 traffic accidents occur in India every day. Of these, about 190 are 2W riders who are financially disadvantaged. So, it’s not just a loss of personal life, but a loss of family and country. “As an industry, we’ve failed to convince people how to drive a vehicle properly,” he said.
The role of tires
V Sivaramakrishnan, CTO of TVS Srichakra shared his thoughts from a tire industry perspective, saying that about 90-95% of road accidents can be traced to negligence in basic maintenance or basic awareness and understanding of the product or the person using it. Understand vehicles.
From a technology perspective, Shitalkumar Joshi, Head (Technology), Ansys India, ASEAN and ANZ, said that the arrival of electric vehicles will introduce another layer of safety requirements for battery safety in the 2W segment.
The IACC 2022 report released during the event revealed that some 21% of respondents were still hesitant to purchase e2W due to safety concerns for their vehicle type, especially after a series of battery fires earlier this year.
Joshi added that with the advent of new-age mobility came concerns about cyber-attacks.
need to interact
Are there solutions to reduce road accidents? Can it be contained only through technology? Experts believe that every stakeholder, from the government to OEMs, must come together to educate the public on the basics of road safety and introduce technologies that are relevant to the Indian situation.
Bhardwaj emphasizes that the laws of physics cannot be surpassed at any level of technology. Therefore, to reduce road traffic accidents, people must learn how to use cars and obey the rules.
India is a very price-sensitive market, and the increase in technology will increase the cost of vehicles, which in turn will affect sales.
How can industry help?
Pandey believes the industry can start with coaching, mentoring and education. He believes that law enforcement never works in a country like India, where people have a tendency to break the rules. It is worth noting that India is a young country with a growing youth population. This younger generation believes reckless driving has a “cool factor”.
This mentality has been developed for some time through various mediums, except the older generation who teach them to ride 2W, seek shortcuts and break the rules. Additionally, the common theme of video games to reach the finish line as quickly as possible contributes to the mentality.
Adding a “cool factor” to safety could help raise awareness, which can be achieved through technology, added the HELLA India CEO. Starting with video games, Pandey thought the games industry could develop games that conveyed the message of safe driving. Many organizations can employ these measures to train their employees and motivate them to follow this behavior.
In addition, in terms of technology, Indian OEMs should not focus on high-end functions such as ADAS, EBD and ABS, but should launch technologies that are more focused on the Indian market and cater to underlying issues.
According to Sivaramakrishnan, the government could consider road safety measures as part of the education curriculum, while OEMs work with various institutions to train students on the same. ‘Grab them young and educate them on the right things to be safe. Safety could even be part of the curriculum,” he suggested. He argues that an automaker could develop technology that shuts off a rider’s phone once his vehicle starts moving, or even helmet-sensing technology where the 2W doesn’t stop until the rider puts on the helmet. Ultimately, awareness and education will be the real catalysts to a safer path, he noted.
“While every stakeholder is doing their part to make rides safer on Indian roads, I believe that as part of our social enterprise, we must spread awareness and educate users on how to make rides safer, At the same time what precautions should be taken while riding 2W or driving a vehicle,” said TVS Srichakra, Chief Technology Officer.
Meanwhile, with new-age mobility, Joshi said using modeling and analysis tools to ensure electronic architectures with many connections and interfaces are immune to cyber-attacks could help achieve safe vehicles.
Joshi concluded the discussion by saying that national-level awareness programs can lead to safer roads, and technology can go hand in hand with it.
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