Here’s the latest from the Indian automotive segment

In order to decrease the number of accidents or at least to minimize the impact, today’s vehicles are equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The functionality and design of these systems is purely dependent on research related to the driving concerns in respective countries. ADAS has been successful in countries having more disciplined driving culture. However, with the rapid motorization in developing countries such as India, there is an increasing need to investigate how these systems should be designed for new and growing markets. Market like India having altogether different driving habits than those of developed countries will pose a challenge to the ADAS designers. In order to address the need, a detailed research is required to discover the most common traffic issues facing Indian drivers, how those issues differ from drivers in countries with better developed driving culture (like Western Europe), and how these differences will mandate redesign or re-tuning of ADAS available in the present form.

A study was conducted aimed at difficulties faced by Indian drivers and implementation of ADAS for Indian Automotive market. It was clearly evident that though European and Indian traffic rules and regulations are mostly similar, but driver behavior is highly culturally mediated. Results also indicate that the type of assistance drivers need in different traffic situations depends a great deal on driver behavior. The observed differences between two cultures suggest that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems designed for roads in Europe may not necessarily be optimal in other markets.

ADAS refers to the latest generation of systems supporting the driver in the driving task and including a range of functions: Driver assistance systems may be designed

  • Simply to inform the driver,
  • To warn or provide recommendations in critical situations,
  • To allow the driver to delegate tasks to the vehicle.

ADAS are multiple systems to help the driver in the driving process. When designed with a safe Human-Machine Interface, it should increase car safety and more generally the road safety.

The new concept for implementing the customer requirement based ADAS is, where a real intelligent vehicle is operated in a virtual environment. This is suitable for various types of ADASs: Adaptive Cruise Control, Stop & Go, Forward Collision Warning, Pre-crash Systems, Blind Spot Systems, and Fully Autonomous Vehicles. Considering the scenario of today’s traffic situations in India, Automatic Emergency Braking System is the most useful and suitable for Indian customers as well as OEM. As almost all the Indian cars having ABS nowadays, hence the basic version of ADAS for braking system using existing systems like parking sensor cameras and bumper sensors with front and rear view cameras or radar sensors can be suitable for Indian cars.

A survey was conducted based on daily traffic problems faced by drivers and what kind of ADASs they would like to have in their vehicle with 500 – 600 participants in India. The participants of different age groups included private car owners, taxi drivers, and car salespersons. A detailed questionnaire was shared with individual to respond. The questionnaire was based on the Manchester Driver Behavior Questionnaire (originally developed by Reason, Man stead, Straddling, Baxter, & Campbell, 1990) and contained questions about traffic problems. Participants were asked how often they face certain types of problem, and answered by choosing between the alternatives often, occasionally, and never. After the questionnaire was completed, follow-up questions were asked on those traffic problems in order to get a broader view of them. Finally, the participants were asked, based on the traffic problems encountered, to discuss each ADAS’s perceived usefulness.

The sample of questions asked in the survey to the respondents are as below,

  1. What kind of traffic problems encountered by the drivers every day?
  2. How important are the following to you when you consider a package of safety features for your vehicle?
  3. If you are making a decision to buy a new car, which safety features would you include?

From the survey it was derived that most common traffic problems faced by drivers were:

  • Illegal Overtaking
  • Blind Spots
  • Pedestrian not crossing the roads from the zebra crossing
  • Driver distractions like mobile & etc.

And, the systems like Anti-lock braking system and collision warning systems were highly preferred as a safety systems in the vehicle. It was found that the braking system of the vehicle is highly likely to be a very effective safety measure in terms of both casualty reduction and benefit to cost ratio in the relatively near future, provided that further technical development and cost reduction take place. The design and development of these systems, though, has concentrated on the needs of motorists in foreign markets as well as Indian market.

A question remains as to “What features will become generally accepted in the future?”, whether those currently available can offer similar benefits to drivers in other areas of the world. Automakers devote large funds to develop and promote safety features, which help differentiate their vehicles and can generate sales. Now that features such as seat-belts, airbags and crumple zones have become as common as cup holders, safety innovations are growing more complex. An example of this is the rapidly expanding category of safety features known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).