The Indian government has finally launched the Bharat New Car Assessment Program or B-NCAP today. The highly anticipated program will improve car safety in India by increasing the safety standards of vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tonnes.
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways – Nitin Gadkari launched the new safety assessment program. It will come into effect from 1st October 2023.
All the cars will be awarded a star rating for Adult Occupants (AOP) and Child Occupants (COP) on the basis of their performance in tests conducted in accordance with the new program. Car customers can simply refer to these star ratings to compare the safety standards of different car models and make their purchase decision.
Under the new program, car manufacturers and importers will have to submit an application FORM 70-A to the agency designated by the government. The test will test the safety of the car through the front impact, side impact test and side impact pole test. Currently, EVs will not be tested under the BNCAP protocol, however, the government will soon include green cars under the test.
The government says that manufacturers have already volunteered about 15-20 models of evaluation under the Bharat NCAP program.
Manufacturers welcomed the new B-NCAP test. Hyundai India said,
“We welcome the BNCAP safety initiative by Govt. of India and believe this effort will raise safety standards, empower consumers with vital information, and make Indian roads safer for all. At Hyundai Motor India, we remain committed to delivering the highest safety standards across our entire product range.”
How the agency will choose the cars?
After the manufacturer or car importer fills the FORM 70-A, the BNCAP will randomly select the car from the base variants from the centre that the manufacturer uses to dispatch vehicles. The crash test by the agency will have representatives from the car manufacturer and BNCAP team.
The result of the BNCAP will be shared with the manufacturer, followed by approval from the BNCAP standing committee. Publication and certification will happen after the crash test results are published by BNCAP and certification is done by the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT).
The test protocol will be in accordance to the international NCAP rating agencies. The crash test will include a front impact test (Offset deformable barrier), side impact test, and pole impact test (only for cars that are eligible for 3,4 or 5-star ratings.) The test speed will be 64 km/h, which is similar to the speed of Global NCAP.
In addition to the crash tests, the rating system will also give weightage to the safety features like the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), pedestrian protection measures for all the vehicles. Also, there will be additional score of features like seat belt reminders for the front. The future cars in India are likely to improve in safety with the new rating system.