Union Roads & Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari spoke at the press conference on ‘Automobile Safety Ecosystem in India’, and had a few points to offer regarding the general safety of cars in India. For starters, Gadkari spoke about how three-point seatbelts for all front-facing passengers will be made mandatory; the notification for which is just a few days away. There will also be an aim to have an independent agency (Bharat NCAP) give out ratings to automobiles in the country based on their safety features.
Thanks to the aforementioned Bharat NCAP rating, buyers will be to make a more conscious choice based on the safety rating. Furthermore, the government will work on other safety features like electronic stability control, advanced emergency braking system, lane departure warning system. Presumably, there will be certain parameters set for certain four- and two-wheelers to have these safety features as standard or at least as an option.
The emphasis on road safety by the government is due to the fact that 1.5 lakh people are killed every year in road accidents. There’s a dire need to improve vehicular integrity, and therefore, overall safety to better protect the occupants. While most high-end automobiles do end up having all these safety features pretty much as standard, there’s no reason why at least some of these features need to be standard in every single car on sale in the country.
CNN-News18 also recently spoke to the Transport Minister about the electric future at hand. He mentioned how there’s a movement towards green hydrogen, and how it very well could be the fuel for the future. In fact, Gadkari firmly believes that electric vehicles will cost as other internal combustion automobiles, in the next two years. He also believes that India will be the number one manufacturing hub for automobiles in the world within five years.
Gadkari also revealed that he had an interaction with the India head of Tesla recently to convince them to set up their own plant here given that India is a huge market. He said, “Tesla is welcome, but making in China and selling in India is not a digestible concept."
To add to this, Gadkari requested Tesla to set up their own plant in India, as they are bound to get quality production value and good sales. All these notable developments are not going to impact the safety of automobiles in India, but also the shift from ICE-powered automobiles as a whole.