When it comes to automotive safety standards, Bharat NCAP and Global NCAP might seem almost indistinguishable at first glance. However, while they share many commonalities, subtle disparities emerge upon closer examination. In this comprehensive guide, we will dissect these differences and explore the key areas where Bharat NCAP differs from Global NCAP.
Similarities that Set the Stage
Before delving into the nuances that set Bharat NCAP and Global NCAP apart, let’s establish the areas where they converge:
1. ESC Requirement
Both Bharat NCAP (BNCAP) and Global NCAP (GNCAP) require Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as a crucial safety feature. Starting in 2024, all vehicles aiming for a 3-star safety rating or higher must come equipped with ESC as standard fitment. However, the path to implementing this requirement is not without its complexities. The standards dictate that ESC should be standard in the best-selling variant or an equal number of other variants. Furthermore, within two years of test results publication, ESC must become a standard feature, and until then, it can only be offered as a standalone optional extra.
2. Side Pole Impact Test
Both GNCAP and Bharat NCAP mandate a head protection system, including side and curtain airbags, to qualify for side pole impact tests. Car manufacturers targeting a 5-star crash rating must ensure that a certain percentage of their vehicles are equipped with head protection systems: 50% by the end of 2023, 70% by 2024, 90% by 2026, and 100% by 2026.
3. Pedestrian Protection Norms
Similarities persist in the realm of pedestrian protection norms. While Global NCAP requires compliance with UN127 pedestrian protection norms, Bharat NCAP mandates adherence to AIS100 standards. These two sets of standards share comparable attributes in terms of pedestrian protection.
4. Child Occupant Protection
Child occupant protection is a critical aspect of any New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Both BNCAP and GNCAP employ similar scoring and assessment criteria for child occupant safety, including 16 points for frontal impact tests, 8 points for side impact tests, 12 points for Child Restraint System (CRS) installation, and 13 points for vehicle assessment. This assessment encompasses integrated CRS, 3-point seat belt provision, ISOFIX mounts, and more.
Contrasting Adult Occupant Protection
The primary point of differentiation between Global NCAP and Bharat NCAP lies in adult occupant protection:
1. Adult Occupant Protection Scores
Bharat NCAP imposes a maximum cap of 32 points for adult occupant protection, whereas Global NCAP had a higher cap of 36 points. Both BNCAP and GNCAP allocate 16 points for front impact tests and 16 points for side impact tests.
2. Seatbelt Reminders
Global NCAP used to award two additional points for seatbelt reminders: half a point for each of the two front seatbelt reminders and 1 point for the inclusion of seatbelt reminders in the second row. In contrast, Bharat NCAP does not employ this method of awarding points for seatbelt reminders. Nevertheless, for all vehicles aiming for a 3-star safety rating or higher, front seatbelt reminders are mandatory.
While Bharat NCAP and Global NCAP share many common safety standards, including ESC, side pole impact tests, pedestrian protection norms, child occupant protection, and similar adult occupant protection criteria, they do exhibit some subtle disparities. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for automakers and consumers alike, as they navigate the evolving landscape of automotive safety standards in India.