German engineering and technology giant Bosch is striving towards providing better safety solutions and systems to car OEMs in India, while it also plans to drive its ‘local-for-local’ approach of manufacturing such products in India itself.
Currently, Bosch is supplying ABS (anti-lock braking system) and ESP (electronic stability control) systems to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in India.
“The penetration/installation rate of ABS and ESP for new cars in India is around 40 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively. We believe OEMs must increase installations, especially of ESPs, so that more customers can drive safer cars,” Bosch Chassis Systems India Senior General Manager (Sales and Marketing) Kartikeya Joshi told Deccan Herald.
“However, consumer trends show that Indian car buyers rate safety among the top three car buying decision criteria, and also, awareness about ABS has increased. Also, airbags have begun to be accepted as an important safety requirement,” Joshi added.
“In line with the ‘Make in India’ campaign, we are keen on pushing our local-for-local approach. Over the past five years, Bosch has already localised the value chain of vehicular safety systems,” he said.
Bosch achieved production of over one million active safety units in 2014, at its facility in Chakan, Maharashtra, from where it caters to all OEMs in India.
The plant, which is the country’s first and only state-of-the-art ABS/ESP manufacturing facility, currently produces close to one million units per year, including for export.
More tech for India
In an effort to make driving more seamless and safe for car occupants, Bosch has been looking at a variety of driver assistance systems. For instance, partly automated systems, which are supervised by the driver, include park assist, integrated cruise assist, and highway assist, a few of which are already available.
Highly automated and fully automated systems — which include highway pilot and autopilot systems — call for reduced or no driver supervision.
Driverless cars will take a longer time to become real. “There is a long way to go for total automated systems for cars to come in. Automated driving is a step-by-step process, which is defined by technological, legal and psychological factors. In India, one must also consider infrastructure as a criterion for rolling out new technologies, and OEMs must consciously integrate them as well,” Robert Bosch Chassis Systems Control Executive Vice President (Driver Assistance Business Unit) Hans-Peter Hubner said.
For India, the company has considered park and assistance, driver monitoring and predictive emergency braking systems, to promote its driver assistance portfolio. Bosch has already introduced a few sensor systems for park and assistance in India.
The company expects the other two solutions to hit India when demand grows. “Emergency braking is one area where we have already begun receiving a few enquiries from OEMs,” Joshi said.