Bosch highlights measures for improved safety in passenger vehicles and public transport

The current situation on Indian roads demands measures for better road safety. Bosch, one of the leading names in vehicle safety components and equipment, tells us about the various solutions it is working on.

By: | Updated: April 16, 2019 12:03 PM
bosch road safety Bosch road safety measures (Photo: Bosch Blog

Road safety is a subject that directly affects one and all. Each and every person who uses public roads has the responsibility and duty to obey traffic rules for the safety of themselves and others. However, the number of road accidents and accident-related deaths have been on the rise and hence the current situation on Indian roads demands measures for better road safety. Bosch, one of the leading names in vehicle safety components and equipment, is working on various solutions. We got touch with Bosch to know more about them.

While the government is conducting road safety campaigns to spread awareness on traffic laws and rules, what is Bosch doing to assist the same?

Bosch is currently involved in road safety education and safety awareness through various CSR Initiatives that we undertake. The main objective is to spread the importance of Road safety and create a safety culture in every road user in society. There are a host of steps that are taken by us and some of them are outlined below.

We take a holistic approach on the topic of road safety which is why we have also established Bosch Accident Research Team in India. The main focus of the study, the team does is to cover the topics on infrastructure, awareness and vehicle safety. The results of the study lead to the establishment of RASSI accident database (Road accident sampling system for India) which includes similar variables according to GIDAS (German in-depth Accident Study) and NASS/CDS (National Automotive Sampling System / Crashworthiness Data System).

For us at Bosch, road safety is one of our top priorities and we are constantly looking at providing solutions to help improve the sector’s infrastructure both at the vehicle and on the roads. Bosch’s driver assistance systems are enabled by data fusion and smartphone integration which makes it possible for OEM’s to support the driver in complex and critical traffic situations. Features such as predictive emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and traffic jam assist and more are also offered here for enhanced driving safety and comfort. Bosch Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) enables prevention of wheel-lock during braking (ABS functionality) and skidding accidents in critical driving situations, thus keeping the car stable in various driving conditions. Extensions of ESP® incorporate a large no of Value Added Functions which further ensure a safe and agile driving experience.

On the two-wheeler front, the superior technology employed by the EMS not only safeguards the smooth running of the bikes but also lets two-wheelers and power sport vehicles to accomplish innovative emission regulations. Bosch offers a sophisticated ABS that assists riders to stay in control of their vehicles in situations where they have to apply brakes unexpectedly. The ABS technology prevents the wheels from locking up and permits them to sustain tractive control with the ground so that the rider can retain steering control at all times.

Several car safety features will be made mandatory starting 1 July 2019. While these will ensure heightened safety for car occupants, what else can we look forward to for pedestrian safety?

The mandatory features from July 1, 2019, will require cars to be equipped with airbags, seat-belt reminders, alert systems for speeds beyond 80kmph, reverse parking alerts, as well as manual override over the central locking system for emergencies. We as a provider of technology and mobility solutions can help with utmost vehicle safety process, but to the riders of the vehicle, it is very necessary for them to be self-alert.

An accident study conducted by our corporate research had pointed out that though 78% of passenger car seats were equipped with seat belts, only 13% passengers used them; 84% of passenger cars were not equipped with airbags. We can conclude that more awareness and education is needed to improve seatbelt usage while a higher installation rate of airbags can help to reduce the number of fatalities and casualties in passenger cars.

Many traffic accidents are caused by distraction. According to a recent survey, everyone in ten traffic accidents is caused by distracted drivers. We as a provider of technology and mobility solutions can help with utmost vehicle safety process, but to the riders of the vehicle, it is very necessary for them to be self-alert.

What is also necessary to be done to improve pedestrian safety is the strict enforcement of laws. Bosch has installed speed cameras on the Electronic City Elevated Expressway in Bangalore to deter over speeding and reduce crashes and at Forum Mall junction in Bengaluru, we enforce signal jumping using number plate recognition technology (ANPR). These are some pilot projects which are running, but more such technology needs to be used to enforce the laws leading to greater safety on the roads.

'Bosch designs safety products and technologies to implement crash avoidance and post-crash injury mitigation to vehicles, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users.' Could you tell us more about post-crash mitigation?

The Bosch emergency call service (e-Call, b-Call, i-Call) provides a ‘proactive’ solution that connects accident victims with the emergency response ecosystem in the shortest possible time. This critical safety feature has been operational since 2017 and aims to help accident victims in the ‘golden hour’ by connecting hospitals, fire stations, and police stations. It offers immense product differentiation for OEMs. Since 2017, Bosch has established strategic partnerships with key emergency service providers such as GVK-EMRI (108) to provide critical emergency response across its network of 15+ states. The Bosch PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) network currently covers 50000+ hospitals, 9560 police stations, and 4500+ fire stations. Bosch is adding more numbers by the day to create a proactive pan-India e-Call network.

Will Bosch be indulging in some CSR activities revolving around road safety? If it already is, what are they?

Bosch - Indian Road Safety Campaign, is a MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING signed along with Indian Road Safety Campaign, which is a youth-led organization in India. It has a presence in over 60+ cities and they work with 2500+ youth with college chapters in premier IITs, NITs, DU Colleges, AIIMS and Law colleges across India, being led by IIT Delhi chapter.

Indian Road Safety Campaign is currently registered as the road safety project of Solve, a not-for-profit trust formed by students and the alumni of IIT Delhi to "solve" the problems plaguing the Indian ecosystem on ground level. Solve believes in creating ground-level impact by promoting volunteerism in youth and using technology to solve the problem.

As a part of first activity, Hackothon @ IIT Guwahati will be organised and fully funded by Bosch.

The Hackathon aims at developing implementable solutions in the form of a digital solution to promote road safety and reduce the frequency and effect of road accidents or for detecting frauds. For this, we want to utilize the intellect and ideation capabilities of the students of premier technical colleges of India. Our long-term goal for the Hackathon is to launch implementable products/solutions into the market stream that solve some prevalent problem. Summarizing, objectives would be:

-Develop implementable technical solutions for road safety problems such as road conditions.

-Come up with a complete architecture in the form of digital solution for fraud detection.

-Give long term support and help in launching the best projects in the market to make Indian Roads Safer.

Will we see Bosch working on equipping public transport vehicles with passenger security systems such as panic buttons? Furthermore, in the field of connected vehicles for speedy emergency response in case of an accident?

Bosch continuously looks to improve its emergency response solutions in order to improve response times and reduce casualties. We will certainly be developing solutions across segments to increase the safety of passengers and vehicles.

We have Solutions for connected vehicles with iTraMs, which can be OEM fitted, right at the time of manufacturing to retrofit solution for existing fleets with the Telematics Smart Plug. Telematics Smart Plug is a retrofit telematics solution from BOSCH that can make your car connected, smart and secure. The device plugs into the 12V cigarettes lighter port of any passenger car and can automatically detect a car crash and send emergency notification messages along with GPS navigation link to your selected contacts.

This is not only a crash detection device; it also helps you to improve your driving by evaluating your driving style through driving score and driving rank. A user will also get access to his/her trip details and statistics to review his/her trips and driving. The trip details will include a detailed map of the trip along with statistics like distance covered, the time taken and where exactly in the map the hard braking, cornering or acceleration happened in the trip.

The app in itself supports the following features:

-Auto Crash Detection & Notification

-Driving Behaviour Analysis

-Trip Details with Map and Statistics

-Safe Driving Contest Every Month

-Fast Charger For Mobile Device (1.5A)

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More than the addition of new safety features and the introduction of new traffic laws, basic safety begins with a driver/rider's attitude towards obeying these rules for the safety of themselves and others. Would you like to add something that sends out a message to Indian road users in terms of road safety?

In recent years, with fast pacing urbanization and rising incomes, the number of motor vehicles in India has been increasing steadily. An increase in the number of vehicles on roads, with the absence of a coordinated policy to control the problem, has come up with an increase in the number of road accidents. In this aspect, the Motor Vehicle Bill looks forward to addressing various issues such as road safety, third party insurance, regulation of taxi aggregators, recall of unsafe vehicles, and compensation for victims in case of road accidents.

From the point of view of road accidents and mishaps, this Bill motions a huge hike in various penalties and charges for traffic violations. Fines would increase for drunken or rash driving, over speeding, riding without seatbelts or helmets and talking on mobile phones while on the drive. It also contains measures like contractors, consultants, and civic agencies would be accountable for faulty design, construction or poor maintenance of roads.

Now, these steps do serve as a reason for the riders and drivers to become more cautious, but it is more of a behavioral attitude that we all have to change. An accident study conducted by our corporate research had pointed out that though 78% of passenger car seats were equipped with seat belts, only 13% of passengers used them. We need to be role models for our future generations and we need to start following the rules and wear seat belts and helmets. We also have to educate other people and the younger generation in ensuring that, nothing takes priority over safety. We need to believe that we can make the change.

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