Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (BNCAP) Launch: Enhanced Vehicle Safety and Ratings
- BNCAP launch on August 22, advancing vehicle safety in India.
- Star ratings based on adult/child protection scores to aid buyers.
- ESC becomes mandatory for a 3-star+ rating from 2024, boosting safety.
- Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai already adopting ESC ahead of implementation.
- BNCAP strengthens global competitiveness and aligns with safety commitment.
On August 22, India will officially launch the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (BNCAP), its indigenous vehicle safety assessment program, making a substantial leap towards bolstering road safety for vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tonnes. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, will conduct the unveiling. While the original schedule had proposed implementing BNCAP starting October 1, 2023, the precise rollout date will receive confirmation on August 22.
BNCAP offers passenger vehicle manufacturers the voluntary opportunity to subject their cars to testing, resulting in a star rating based on their scores in adult and child occupant protection. This rating system empowers car buyers by facilitating informed comparisons regarding crash safety among available vehicles.
The assessment protocol of BNCAP draws inspiration from the updated Global NCAP crash test and incorporates elements from the Euro NCAP protocol. Starting from 2024, to qualify for a three-star or higher rating, a car must feature electronic stability control (ESC) as a standard feature. Vehicles offering ESC merely as an option are limited to a maximum of two stars under the BNCAP protocol. Consequently, manufacturers such as Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai have proactively standardized ESC across their portfolios to meet these requirements.
By elevating safety standards, Indian cars can enhance their competitiveness in the global market, thereby bolstering the export potential of Indian manufacturers. This step aligns with the government’s commitment to bolster road safety and improve vehicle standards across the nation.