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Motoring Tends March-April 21

April, 2021

The Government of India has mandated through a Gazette notification the provision of an airbag for the front seat passenger also. This important safety feature is based on suggestions of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety. According to the notification, all new vehicles must have dual front airbags as standard fitment from April 1, 2021. The existing vehicles will be required to be sold with dual airbags from August 31, 2021. The driver seat’s airbag mandate came in 2019, and it did not constitute for the safety of the co-passenger. With the present announcement, the industry is directed in the right direction. According to the ministry, these steps aim at improving passenger safety in case of an accident. This is a positive move towards road safety as it will reduce the number of fatalities. It gains significance as the vehicles are getting more powerful and roads better. India holds a dubious distinction of ranking top in road accident deaths. Daily over 400 people do not return home due to road accidents. Therefore, every step taken for passenger and pedestrian safety will help reduce the number of road fatalities. Every step is a good move.

The Cover story of this edition is on Powertrain and New Mobility. Adherence to emission challenges exercise immense pressure on the OEMs, and therefore, the easy way out for them, as of now, is to focus also on New Mobility. This is because the new mobility includes EVs, hybrids, and vehicles using multiple flex-fuels. They are considered to be more manageable than conventional petrol and diesel variants. The vehicle makers are challenged to work on the RDE (Real Driving Emissions) norms that will be effective from April 2023. It will be an acid test for OEMs as RDE measures particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emission values in real traffic conditions. We have featured several companies that are working on optimising the powertrain and also venturing into new mobility.

Besides, we have some interesting stories and interviews on ContiTech, Bosch, Utac Ceram Millbrook and Schwing Stetter and features on BMW, Citroen, Hero, Mercedes Benz, MINI and Tata Motors commercial vehicles.

Happy reading.

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