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2019 Mercedes-Benz Experimental Safety Vehicle Unveiled at Safe Roads Summit in India

On Indian roads, approximately 150,000 people die every year of road accidents, largely caused due to ignorance of safety norms and rules.

News18.com

Updated:November 22, 2019, 10:57 AM IST
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2019 Mercedes-Benz Experimental Safety Vehicle Unveiled at Safe Roads Summit in India
Mercedes-Benz ESF 2019. (Image source: Mercedes-Benz)

Daimler entities in India unveiled the Mercedes-Benz Experimental Safety Vehicle ESF 2019 at the 2nd edition of the SAFE ROADS Summit India 2019 in the presence of Nitin Gadkari, Honourable Minister for Road Transport & Highways of India, Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India.

The SAFE ROADS India Summit is part of the nationwide ‘SAFE ROADS’ initiative launched in 2015 by Daimler entities operating in India - Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI), Mercedes-Benz India (MBIL) and Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV).

SAFE ROADS was conceptualized in 2015 to promote road safety to the public through physical demonstrations, visual aids and research reports, through a roadshow format. Taking the awareness to the next level, the SAFE ROADS India Summit was launched in 2017 with the theme ‘Child Safety and Vulnerable Road Users on Indian Roads’.

This year, the Summit will be held with the theme of ‘Automated Driving and Future of Road Safety in India’. Incorporating more than a dozen trailblazing safety innovations in tangible form, the summit reflects the mobility of the future and the new approaches for safety systems associated with automated driving. Among the attractions at the event are exhibits imported from Germany that offer a first-hand look into safety measures that can save lives during road accidents. Daimler chose the Summit as the perfect opportunity for the unveiling of the futuristic research car ‘Mercedes-Benz ESF 2019’ in India.

On Indian roads, approximately 150,000 people die every year of road accidents, largely caused due to ignorance of safety norms and rules. ‘SAFE ROADS’ was hence conceptualized by Daimler in an effort to reduce this startling fatality rate on Indian roads, by creating more awareness on road safety. Daimler is convinced that such initiatives can begin an era of road safety awareness that supports a new culture of road safety for the Indian people.

Child safety is another important field for the safety engineers. Already in the previous edition of SAFE ROADS India Summit 2017, the focus was on ‘Child safety and vulnerable roads users in India’ – which made an impact across the country.

In 2017, through Mercedes-Benz’ nationwide CSR efforts, more than 15,000 children – the future road users -- from New Delhi, Bangalore and Pune received training on road safety measures. At the Summit, 300 school children and 200 college students from New Delhi attended the event. The college students were given a ‘First Responder Training’ by NGO partner Indian Head Injury Foundation.

The physical demonstration will be undertaken with the use of exhibits that have been imported from Germany providing a real-life experience of safety measures that can potentially save lives during road accidents.

ESF 2019:

The Experimental Safety Vehicle ESF 2019 is safety on wheels. The research vehicle is packed full of surprising and innovative tech and features – coloured lights, projective panels and a warning triangle robot. The car represents how much safer the future of mobility can be.

Mercedes-Benz engineers have gone way beyond that with the ESF 2019, exploring new technology to protect passengers and others even more. The ESF 2019 is designed to be intuitive in order to provide a safety benefit not only to its passengers, but also to the surroundings.

Child Safety Seat:

It is one of the most important purchases you'll make for your child when you buy a car. A child safety seat is designed specifically to protect children from injury or death during collisions.

-- All children aged 12 years and under should be seated in the appropriate child seat and positioned in the rear seat of the car.

-- Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat

-- Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an airbag

-- Appropriate child seats should be used based on child’s size and weight

Body in White (BiW):

A ‘Body in White’ (BiW) passenger car exhibit highlights some of the core elements of a car structure which have high tensile strength that can absorb most of the energy during a crash and minimize passenger car intrusions. In addition, safety sensors and restraint system components are visible.

Alcohol Goggles:

Alcohol goggles provide a unique experience. Wearing these special types of glasses simulates the common ‘walk-the-line’ activity which causes loss

of balance and delayed reaction times. Visitors will feel their susceptibility to impairments and realize the potential severe consequences due to alcohol consumption.

The United Nations announced the ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-20’ with a goal to stabilize and reduce the forecast level of road traffic deaths around the world. However, the global road traffic fatalities increased from 1.24 million in 2010 to 1.35 million in 2016. If it was business as usual, the estimated road traffic fatalities would reach about 1.9 million in 2020. Thanks to the significant efforts in improving road safety awareness, strict enforcement, emergency care during golden hour and improved reporting of the road traffic deaths has resulted in less road traffic fatalities compared to the estimated values.

Especially in India, since 2011, efforts like formation of National Road Safety Council (NRSC) by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) had formulated guidelines for improving road safety. Also, several OEMs started creating awareness about road safety through various platforms e.g., corporate social responsibility (CSR). Finally, the introduction of improved Motor Vehicle Act in India will ensure in strict enforcement of traffic rules including hefty fines of over-speeding, dangerous driving, overloading, load protruding, etc

However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), India witnessed the highest number of road traffic fatalities in 2016, and this made up about 20 per cent of global road traffic fatalities. In 2017, a total of 4.6 lakh road accidents were reported which claimed about 1.47 lakh lives and left about 4.7 lakh injured. The over-speeding related incidents contributed to about 70 per cent of all accidents in 2017.

When 2011 was considered as a base year, the fatality trend will reach about 250,000 by the end of the year 2025 - if business as usual continues with respect to road safety. Thanks to the significant efforts in improving road safety awareness, strict enforcement, emergency care during golden hour and improved reporting of the road traffic deaths has resulted in less road traffic fatalities compared to the estimated values. However, if 2017 is taken as base year, the fatality trend will reach about 200,000 as shown in Figure. By 2025, government can achieve 70 per cent fatality reduction if strict enforcement on over-speeding is achieved 100 per cent.

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| Edited by: Anirudh SK
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