After years of being in drafts, the much-awaited Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (BNCAP) will be launched by Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, on August 22nd. Bharat NCAP has been in talks for years, and finally, the program, which aims to improve the safety ratings of Indian cars, will be launched this month. This new program aims to increase the safety standards of Indian automobiles and bring them up to international levels to create a better image of Indian cars in the international markets.
For those unaware of what this program is, Bharat NCAP will be similar to the Global NCAP. This new program will crash-test new cars voluntarily offered by manufacturers in the country. After comprehensive crash tests, the cars will be given safety ratings. These ratings will help car buyers in the country make more informed decisions based on the safety ratings of the car. This will prove beneficial for both car buyers and the Indian economy.
The economic aspect of this new program is that, at the moment, cars manufactured in India are looked upon as substandard vehicles in both the country and international markets due to their previous reputation of being less safe. What this program will help Indian manufacturers achieve is that if their vehicles receive good ratings, they will be able to prove to international markets that their cars are much safer. This will help them export more of their cars to international markets and contribute to increasing the country’s economy.
Parameters of Bharat NCAP
As mentioned above, manufacturers will be able to voluntarily agree to have their vehicles examined in accordance with Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 197. The Bharat NCAP will conduct extensive crash tests and then provide the tested cars with stars for the safety of Adult Occupants (AOP) and Child Occupants (COP). After these star ratings have been assigned, prospective car buyers could use them to evaluate the safety features of various models and make informed purchasing choices.
The government of India finalized the parameters of Bharat NCAP recently and aligned them with global crash test protocols. The safety norms will cover various aspects, including pedestrian-friendly design, structural safety, and active and passive safety assist technologies. These factors collectively will determine the rating of a vehicle, assigned on a scale of one to five stars, similar to renowned programs like Global NCAP and Euro NCAP.
The Bharat NCAP crash test ratings will be enforced for vehicles with type approval up to eight-seater models, including the driver’s seat, and a gross vehicle weight lower than 3.5 tonnes. This includes not only conventional petrol and diesel-powered vehicles but also CNG and electric vehicles. The program is voluntary, but manufacturers will be encouraged to submit sample vehicles for testing. The designated agency will have the authority to select car models from showrooms for assessment.
Indian carmakers on Bharat NCAP
Just a few weeks ago, a ton of Indian manufacturers shared their opinions on the finalization of this program. Manufacturers including Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Toyota wholeheartedly embraced the introduction of Bharat NCAP. They stated they recognize this new program as a bold step in the right direction for the domestic industry.