The Indian Road Minister, Nitin Gadkari, recently opened the Command-and-Control Centre of Bharat NCAP at the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) in Pune. This center will play a crucial role in administering star ratings for vehicles tested under the Bharat NCAP Vehicle Safety Regime, launched on August 22. The regime aims to enhance safety standards for automobile manufacturers in India.
The BNCAP test protocol draws extensively from the Global NCAP and Euro NCAP standards. It evaluates vehicles based on three key parameters: adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, and the integration of safety assist technologies. Manufacturers can opt to submit their vehicles for testing under this program voluntarily. The vehicles will then be assigned star ratings, ranging from one star to a maximum of five stars, based on their performance in the tests. The crash tests encompass a frontal impact test (involving a vehicle crashing into an offset deformable barrier at a speed of 64 kmph), a side impact test (conducted at 50 kmph), and a pole side impact test (mandatory for vehicles to achieve a rating of 3 stars and above). Already, more than 30 models have been nominated for BNCAP testing by their respective manufacturers.
Nitin Gadkari recently announced that mandating 6 airbags for all cars would no longer be a requirement. Initially, the minister had approved a draft notification in January 2022, making 6-airbags mandatory for all cars in India. However, the implementation, initially slated for October 1, 2022, was postponed for a year, as indicated in a subsequent announcement. Gadkari also mentioned that with the introduction of the BNCAP testing program, most manufacturers have already standardized 6 airbags across their vehicle lineup. This move is expected to increase their chances of receiving higher ratings, such as 4-star or 5-star ratings.