Government plans to make ADAS mandatory for road safety

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

New Delhi: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has recently proposed a draft regulation that could make Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) compulsory for certain categories of vehicles in India. The move is aimed at enhancing road safety and reducing road accidents, especially involving vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

The draft regulation, titled ‘Approval of Motor Vehicles with Regard to the Moving Off Information System for the Detection of Pedestrians and Cyclists’, defines the Moving Off Information System (MOIS) as a system that can detect and inform the driver about the presence of pedestrians and cyclists in close proximity to the vehicle, and provide a warning if there is a risk of collision. The MOIS is a part of the ADAS, which is a suite of technologies and features that assist the driver in various driving situations, such as blind spot monitoring, collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

According to the draft regulation, the MOIS would be mandatory for vehicles of categories M2, M3, N2, and N3, which include buses, trucks, and other heavy commercial vehicles. The regulation also specifies the technical requirements, test procedures, and performance criteria for the MOIS. The regulation is based on the recommendations of the Vulnerable Road Users-Proximity (VRU-Proxi) Informal Working Group, which is a part of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

The proposal to make ADAS mandatory is in line with the vision of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who has set an ambitious target to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 percent by 2024. According to government data, India witnessed over 4.6 lakh road accidents and 19 deaths every hour in 2022, with a 12 percent increase in road accidents compared to the previous year. A significant portion of these accidents involved collisions between heavy vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists, especially during low-speed moving-off maneuvers.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

The introduction of ADAS in India could potentially improve the road safety scenario and prevent many such accidents. However, it could also have an impact on vehicle prices, as ADAS technologies are currently available only in premium and luxury vehicles. Moreover, the implementation of ADAS would require adequate infrastructure, awareness, and maintenance to ensure its effectiveness and reliability. Therefore, the government would have to address these challenges and ensure a smooth transition to the ADAS era.