The two organisations aim to leverage their strengths in testing infrastructure and state-of-the-art equipment to jointly offer advanced testing and certification services in ADAS, ride and handling, and vehicle dynamics.
The National Automotive Test Tracks or NATRAX, which is Asia's largest proving ground with 14 advanced track facilities located in Indore for comprehensive vehicle testing, and Gurgaon-based Automotive Test Systems (ATS) – a key supplier of testing instruments and engineering services to the automotive industry – have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to offer advanced testing services.
Guided by the MoU, the two organisations aim to offer testing and certification services in the fields of ADAS, road-load data acquisition (RLDA), and vehicle dynamics to OEMs, as well as technology and component suppliers in the country. The two organisations aim to tap into each other’s strengths, where NATRAX will offer its infrastructure while ATS bring its state-of-the-art equipment to particularly allow testing of ADAS – advanced driver assistance systems – in India.
While NATRAX, which is spread over an area of 2,900 acres in Pithampur, on the outskirts of Indore, houses 14 different test tracks, including an 11.3km-long high-speed track, will provide the suitable tracks for ADAS, RLDA and vehicle dynamics evaluations, ATS will recommend track modifications for optimal testing, as well as set up an ADAS lab in the first phase.
ATS to invest Rs 20 crore in ADAS lab
The company will spend close to Rs 20 crore in setting up this state-of-the-art lab within the NATRAX premises, and the facility will house ADAS testing systems like platforms, stationary and dynamic targets, including global vehicle target (GVT), pedestrians, and cyclists.
The lab will also house radar transmitters (RTs) such as RT3002 and RT1003 IMU with a range and base station to facilitate testing of these radar- and camera-based advanced safety systems which have increasingly started making way into some new passenger vehicle models being introduced in India. According to ATS, the lab will also be equipped with hardware- and software-in-the-loop systems, as well as steering and suspension test systems, to allow lab and track testing of ADAS technologies.
ATS will provide global vehicle targets, cyclists and pedestrian targets for real-world ADAS testing at NATRAX.
The MoU will also facilitate knowledge sharing and capability building between the two organisations, which aim to enhance their testing capabilities, and offer required support and services to the automotive industry for testing and validation.
According to Dr Manish Jaiswal, director, NATRAX, “The MoU will help NATRAX offer a wide range of testing and certification services to its clients by utilising state-of-the-art instruments and accessories provided by ATS. At NATRAX, we are committed to support the government’s vision to make India a global hub for automotive manufacturing and innovation.”
Ramanathan Srinivasan, managing director, ATS, added, “The MoU will create a win-win situation for both NATRAX and ATS by allowing them to leverage each other’s strengths and capabilities. ATS is proud to be associated with NATRAX, which is one of the largest and most-advanced automotive testing facilities in Asia.”
“With Indian road environment being significantly different from that in developed markets overseas, it is imperative to test the safety-critical ADAS functions according to the Indian conditions, and adapting them to the country’s unique road challenges,” Srinivasan told Autocar Professional.
Growing demand for ADAS tech in India
With safety becoming the buzzword among passenger vehicle buyers in India who are increasingly putting their money on the safest products in the market, ADAS or advanced driver assistance functions such as blind-spot detection, lane-keep assist, forward collision warning, and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) are some of the key safety features being implemented by OEMs in their latest products.
While it is a given for premium cars from luxury carmakers such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, and Audi to come equipped with ADAS functions, even OEMs like Mahindra & Mahindra, Hyundai Motor India, Honda Cars India, and MG Motor India, have started offering ADAS features in some of their popular car models on sale.
For instance, the Mahindra XUV7OO SUV offers a raft of radar- and camera-based ADAS functions such as lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot detection, the recently-launched Hyundai Verna too claims ADAS as its USP.
In a recent interview with Autocar Professional, Frank Petznick, Head, ADAS Business Unit, Continental, said, “ADAS features are increasingly becoming a trend in the Indian market, and are likely to become more mainstream over the next three years.”
“We are developing cost-effective ADAS solutions specifically adapted to the Indian market,” Petznick had told Autocar Professional recently. The NATRAX-ATS partnership should help accelerate India Auto Inc's drive to achieve global parity in vehicle testing and certification.
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