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Old 4th May 2011, 02:20   #46
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justwheels View Post
@Vina : Well I never meant that some features should be optional, it was only for those people who really don't want to understand the importance of these safety features at all. I ask only to be able to customize a car with options to add safety features. It could be one option: "All Safety Features selected", I am game for it.

I totally agree with your second point. These things actually cannot be optional, morally and practically. We are getting more concerned because this will increase the cost of the cars, least I would say about that.

And also, there is no correlation between a safer car being driven more badly and dangerously and less safer car (in features) being driven more sedately. Its the mindset. I have seen the most rash truck drivers and the most sane truck drivers, and the same goes with cars from MSIL to BMW and others!

I get your point, and support it fully.

I bought a Figo early last year for my sister - she has been driving for years and does over 100km on weekdays. I bought her a ZXI (not titanium - saving money). My reason - the budget was already too stretched, she wouldn't accept a cheaper car and in any case cheaper cars didn't have ABS/airbags back then (or even now). If the price was even 20k lower, I would have bought it. Today I do regret it.

I bought my Figo last week, and I bought a titanium this time. Now I drive very very slow so airbags are not useful - my seatbelts will protect me in almost any collision conceivable where airbags could be useful. On the other hand I have a baby and she'll be traveling on her mother's lap. I don't know how often on the front seat. God forbid I get into a minor accident and the airbag deploys, she'll be injured. I just didn't want the Airbag and AFAIK I can't even turn it off in Figo for the passenger. I'll just be asking my wife to push the seat as far back as possible and then tilt a little to keep 1ft of distance between the baby and the dash.

BUT I did want the ABS. I'm a new driver so my reaction times are slow, and also in rains things get very slippery here. Plus I have no clue when my sister/cousin/wife's cousin lands in town and goes on a drive - they drive a little fast and in Hyderabad there are so many crazies on the road accident will happen.

I agonised a lot but then took Titanium (It did help that this time I had the cash to pay for it). I even went to these guys and asked whether they could install ABS on ZXI or remove airbags from Titanium.

As you are saying a choice would have been better - much better for my situation. However if ABS was compulsory more likely than not it would be cheaper too, thanks to the economies of scale.

Someone mentioned that this will become mandatory within a few years - I am hoping it does happen - if nothing else it'll reduce the costs.
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Old 4th May 2011, 09:49   #47
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

In India we have a belief that Accidents only happen to others. So the demand is for the minimum features which add to the price. Even today in Kanpur i see not more than 10% drivers using belts! As for passengers (front or rear) this is even lower.
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:48   #48
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
I have a baby and she'll be traveling on her mother's lap. I don't know how often on the front seat. God forbid I get into a minor accident and the airbag deploys, she'll be injured. I just didn't want the Airbag and AFAIK I can't even turn it off in Figo for the passenger. I'll just be asking my wife to push the seat as far back as possible and then tilt a little to keep 1ft of distance between the baby and the dash.
I'll share a few important findings based on studies by Volvo cars in their Europe crash facility.

First of all, it's way too dangerous to travel with kid(s) in lap.
Reason : Both the kid as well as the parent are subjected to enormous impulse of force even in case of crash at 30kmph. The parent may not even have that fraction of second to hold on tightly to kid and the baby may hit the dashboard/ windscreen or driver/ co-driver seats (in case of seating in rear seats).

Secondly, if the parent 'carries' the baby by using strap-on belt, the baby can get crushed in between. Now, if a seat belt is worn by the parent (across the baby as well) the rib cage of baby is not strong enough to bear the forces of seat belts in case of a mis-hap thereby inflicting serious injuries.

Volvo, and a number of other crash safety organizations, recommend to use a child seat (in accordance to the age, weight and size of the child). Also, they recommend to place the seat facing backwards so as to provide maximum support and cushion to the child.

I've seen lot many parents buying child seats, but putting it wrong way just because kid is happy to see the things in front and stops crying . A typical case was of my colleague in my previous organization. She (even though she's a car chassis engineer) used to keep the seat wrong way. She put the seat in the correct position only after I shower her the aforesaid article from Volvo.

My suggestion to all parents is to buy suitable child seats and put them in correct position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
BUT I did want the ABS. I'm a new driver so my reaction times are slow, and also in rains things get very slippery here. Plus I have no clue when my sister/cousin/wife's cousin lands in town and goes on a drive - they drive a little fast and in Hyderabad there are so many crazies on the road accident will happen.
I think the purpose of the ABS system is misunderstood here. ABS system do prevents skidding due to locking of wheels in emergency braking or slippery conditions and thereby maintaining steerability of vehicle. Now if the available braking distance is small (like in city driving) ABS alone cannot prevent an accident. So, its the combination of ABS actions and correct steering input that will avoid the accident. Absence of either of these is going to result in accident. Here driver's response (reaction time) to steer the vehicle is also important.

Here is a video from BOSCH : http://dl3.interlake.net/shared/wm/M...g_with_abs.wmv

There have been few debates regarding the effectiveness of steering the vehicle away from the obstacle (in addition to emergency braking) on busy roads/ highways. The debate arises from the fact that the braking & steering to next lane might leave one stationary in front of speeding traffic in that lane and result in collision from rear end. Worse that the time one is just swirling to the next lane, the on-coming traffic hits resulting in side-impact. Most of the vehicles in the world are much sturdier in full-frontal crash and offset-frontal crash as compared to side impact and rear impact.

As for the airbags, they are Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), and are effective only if the seat belts are put on. In case of a crash, the seat belt provides initial (and major) restraint to the body and allows the airbag to deploy. If no seat belt is worn, driver/ passenger will be thrown towards dashboard/ windscreen even before the airbag had a chance of deployment. And the whole thing takes only fraction of second. So I'll say once again, as it has been highlighted many times of this forum, wear seat belts when in vehicle, equally applicable for driver and passengers.

So, a driver should always be aware of surroundings (including traffic behind) and be in control of the vehicle; and never leave something fully on the systems. The systems are there to assist and not to take actions. The response time of driver is very important in such situations.

Even in aircrafts, the auto-pilot flies the plane in normal conditions and at that time too, both the pilots are not allowed to take the permitted small nap at the same time. One pilot must keep watch on the displays, meters, dials and controls. The complex tasks of take-off and landing are carried out by both the pilots together.
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:59   #49
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Its very simple - hardly any top end safety pack vehicles are sold to begin with. Why increase complexity & offer the same option to the base customers?
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Old 4th May 2011, 13:54   #50
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

^^Probably because car makers charge a fat premium for top-end versions that are not seen as VFM by the customer. So it is not a question of not wanting safety features in many cases, but not being able to afford the feature-laden full option models.
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Old 4th May 2011, 14:47   #51
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

As for the question in the OP, I agree with a resounding YES. For example, if I want to buy a Scorpio with airbags today, I have to also pay for other bells and whistles which I do not really want. I mean do I really care about/ want sensors that activate the wipers when it rains?
Cars should ideally be offered with addons on the base model. While this would probably take some more time, it would be customised to fit the client requirements.

Basically the car manufacturers are reflecting the general buying trend of India. If the car buyer can afford airbags/ abs he or she can afford the top end version. T

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
We have people who have Airbags in thier car and they keep zooming above 100kmph. Also we have people who do not have airbag and drive not more than 50kmph.
Now tell me which of these two are safer?
Neither of them. IMHO, driving on our streets/ highways is not strictly linear hence more risky. People try to change lanes at high speeds without trying to understand the reason for the traffic slowing down. And this is even without taking into account secondary external factors such as the road condition or encroachers (such as animals). On second thoughts, what if there is a head on collision between the 50kmph driver (sans airbags) and the 100+ kmph zooming driver (with airbags)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
India is a country which at first cant afford cars in itself. That being the case, adding 50K more to the cost doesnt help.
We will surely reach a tipping point when atleast there are 30 cars per 1000 I guess then we can think of such a rule. Dont think at such priliminary stage we need to enforce a rule.
India cannot afford cars? Really?!!
Nevertheless, assuming this to be true it is even more relevant that the manufacturers reduce the cost to the customer by offering what he/ she wants. So if I want airbags/ ABS and dont want the other jingles, I should have the option to refuse what I dont want. I guess this is the purpose of this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
I didn't want Airbag at all at any price (have a little daughter who would in most cases be riding on her mother's lap in the front seat) but wanted ABS - finally took the bullet spent the extra 45k + taxes.
Now this is something which should really be enforced as a rule. If children are treated as a separate person in something as basic as wearing clothes, why should they not be treated as an individual when they are travelling. IMHO, every child should be seated in his/ her own seat. The decision of a car seat could be at the discretion of the parent depending on the size/ age of the child, but laws need to be put in place enforcing the count of 1 child as 1 passenger.

there are multiple reasons why children should not be travelling in someone's lap or left to stand in the vehicle. They should be properly seated in their own seat (may be a child car seat for younger kids) and belted up. Its even riskier if the kid is travelling in someone's lap and the both of them are belted up in the same seatbelt.

Last edited by selfdrive : 4th May 2011 at 14:53.
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Old 4th May 2011, 15:34   #52
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
India cannot afford cars? Really?!!
Nevertheless, assuming this to be true it is even more relevant that the manufacturers reduce the cost to the customer by offering what he/ she wants. So if I want airbags/ ABS and dont want the other jingles, I should have the option to refuse what I dont want. I guess this is the purpose of this thread.
Mods: I know this is getting off topic, but I have to respond when I have been quoted.

Selfdrive, note that you agree or not Cars for someone in India is still a luxury. Only 14 in 1000 in India have cars compared to 39 in China and around 800 odd in US.

Go and look into history countries with this much rates of car penetration (i.e. US and Euro during 60's) had also faced this kind of difficulty selling a car with safety package.

The only thing that can change is when people assume they contain value, not by rules and regulation.

We are in a country where even if a manufacturer increases the price by 500 to 1000 INR it captures the headlines of the newspapers. That describes the impact that adding the bells and whistles of Airbag etc would create on the car buying behaviour.

Additionally there are hunderds of safety tools for the car, why are you just sticking to airbags. I mean if you are really paranoid about safety then why ignore things like EPS, Infrared night vision, Adaptive high beam lamps, Reverse back up sensor, Adaptive Cruise control, lane change indicator etc.

For which I can talk pages on why its required and why its crucial for lives of the people.

I am seeing people only keep repeating airbags again and again as safety device, and want to make them compulsory just because US and Euro countries have them as mandatory. Is that the reason you give as a justification?

Then why not things like Night Infrared vision and cornering brake control system, They are not decorative items

Last edited by xingamazon : 4th May 2011 at 15:37.
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Old 4th May 2011, 16:01   #53
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
Selfdrive, note that you agree or not Cars for someone in India is still a luxury. Only 14 in 1000 in India have cars compared to 39 in China and around 800 odd in US.

Additionally there are hunderds of safety tools for the car, why are you just sticking to airbags. I mean if you are really paranoid about safety then why ignore things like EPS, Infrared night vision, Adaptive high beam lamps, Reverse back up sensor, Adaptive Cruise control, lane change indicator etc.

I am seeing people only keep repeating airbags again and again as safety device, and want to make them compulsory just because US and Euro countries have them as mandatory. Is that the reason you give as a justification?

Then why not things like Night Infrared vision and cornering brake control system, They are not decorative items
As for the number of cars per 1000, it is also dependent on the quality of roads available. I agree that new cars may be a luxury for most of the Indian populace, but considering the two last generations of cars we have had, they need not be considered as a luxury. Even more so considering the quality of public transport we have. Unfortunately we are headed more the American way of owning our own transport than building on mass transit infrastructure. But then this could also become a debate about why the Golden quadrilateral was built where high speed dedicated rail lines could have been built. That is seriously for this thread.

And buddy, secondly, I dont say these safety features should be mandatory. All I am saying is that if I want airbags/ ABS, I should not have to pay for the other bells and whistles (namely rain sensors/ body colored door handles etc). If I want safety features I should get it as additional even to the base model. basically I should be able to buy the base version and pay extra for airbags & ABS instead of paying much more for the top end version of the same car just because it has airbags/ ABS. This is the very question in the OP.

I mention airbags and ABS specifically as they are the base safety options that are offered by the OEM in India. For example, if I go to a showroom with 7L in my pocket this is what I can get in India. So why should I spend money on things which I dont want?
To answer your question IMHO, I think airbags have a better chance at saving lives in my car than EPS, Infrared night vision, Adaptive high beam lamps, Reverse back up sensor, Adaptive Cruise control, lane change indicator etc.
I understand you have your opinion, but if I as a customer want only two features I should be allowed to buy that, right?
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Old 4th May 2011, 16:05   #54
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

I think the most fully loaded base variant with most features sold in India is the Tata Aria. The feature list beats most European base variants too.
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Old 5th May 2011, 01:41   #55
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Very good post autonoob, here are my comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoNoob View Post
I'll share a few important findings based on studies by Volvo cars in their Europe crash facility.

First of all, it's way too dangerous to travel with kid(s) in lap.
Reason : Both the kid as well as the parent are subjected to enormous impulse of force even in case of crash at 30kmph. The parent may not even have that fraction of second to hold on tightly to kid and the baby may hit the dashboard/ windscreen or driver/ co-driver seats (in case of seating in rear seats).

I know and I agree.

Secondly, if the parent 'carries' the baby by using strap-on belt, the baby can get crushed in between. Now, if a seat belt is worn by the parent (across the baby as well) the rib cage of baby is not strong enough to bear the forces of seat belts in case of a mis-hap thereby inflicting serious injuries.

I didn't know this - but our plan was to kind of put her in a baby holder that wraps her almost completely and then put the holder strapped to her mother. - I think in such a case forces will be spread.



Volvo, and a number of other crash safety organizations, recommend to use a child seat (in accordance to the age, weight and size of the child). Also, they recommend to place the seat facing backwards so as to provide maximum support and cushion to the child.

I've seen lot many parents buying child seats, but putting it wrong way just because kid is happy to see the things in front and stops crying . A typical case was of my colleague in my previous organization. She (even though she's a car chassis engineer) used to keep the seat wrong way. She put the seat in the correct position only after I shower her the aforesaid article from Volvo.

My suggestion to all parents is to buy suitable child seats and put them in correct position.

I agree that it is stupid to put the seats facing backwards. I fact that is true in all vehicles, except for the driver this should never be done - no airbag will ever be safer than a rear facing seat, at any speed and in any accident condition.

Volvo may have recommended it for babies older than a year. My baby is way too young - she can not even turn, no sitting. The only place she can travel is the lap - so we have to make the lap more secure.

The way to do that - defensive driving, keep speed slow, avoiding accident prone areas and times, avoiding areas where others can drive fast ... It may double my travel time and fuel consumption but frankly, when a baby is involved, who gives a damn?

I think the purpose of the ABS system is misunderstood here. ABS system do prevents skidding due to locking of wheels in emergency braking or slippery conditions and thereby maintaining steerability of vehicle. Now if the available braking distance is small (like in city driving) ABS alone cannot prevent an accident. So, its the combination of ABS actions and correct steering input that will avoid the accident. Absence of either of these is going to result in accident. Here driver's response (reaction time) to steer the vehicle is also important.

Here is a video from BOSCH : http://dl3.interlake.net/shared/wm/M...g_with_abs.wmv

There have been few debates regarding the effectiveness of steering the vehicle away from the obstacle (in addition to emergency braking) on busy roads/ highways. The debate arises from the fact that the braking & steering to next lane might leave one stationary in front of speeding traffic in that lane and result in collision from rear end. Worse that the time one is just swirling to the next lane, the on-coming traffic hits resulting in side-impact. Most of the vehicles in the world are much sturdier in full-frontal crash and offset-frontal crash as compared to side impact and rear impact.

Well, finally somebody spoke up - be prepared to get some flaming.


As for the airbags, they are Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), and are effective only if the seat belts are put on. In case of a crash, the seat belt provides initial (and major) restraint to the body and allows the airbag to deploy. If no seat belt is worn, driver/ passenger will be thrown towards dashboard/ windscreen even before the airbag had a chance of deployment. And the whole thing takes only fraction of second. So I'll say once again, as it has been highlighted many times of this forum, wear seat belts when in vehicle, equally applicable for driver and passengers.


There is no direct evidence that airbag+belt is more effective than belt alone (if worn properly). In fact for some reason nobody even talks about it. Indirect studies with really poor methodolgies have claimed 15% extra effectiveness. Direct studies have shown less than the margin of error.


By the way, today I was taking a guy from work to drop off a little farther. He was refusing to put on the seat belt - so I stopped and asked him to get out of my car. The guy gained some perspective temporarily but I'm sure he is not asking for a lift again -
His loss.



So, a driver should always be aware of surroundings (including traffic behind) and be in control of the vehicle; and never leave something fully on the systems. The systems are there to assist and not to take actions. The response time of driver is very important in such situations.

Even in aircrafts, the auto-pilot flies the plane in normal conditions and at that time too, both the pilots are not allowed to take the permitted small nap at the same time. One pilot must keep watch on the displays, meters, dials and controls. The complex tasks of take-off and landing are carried out by both the pilots together.

I sort of agree with that. Man should have control over the machine.
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Old 5th May 2011, 11:39   #56
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

My answer to this question is YES.

I had met with an accident at about 120kmph [but was unhurt] only because my car lost grip due to braking suddenly when confronted by a cow and toppled several times and nearly took another car with it.
When I look back at it I get scared of driving fast, because fast is not safe in the case of an emergency for me as well as others on the road. If only all cars come with ABS as standard and one does not have to pay for crappy speakers, ACC or fancy gadgetry it will benefit the entire commuting population and such situations can be avoided .
In most cases ABS does its job quietly and people are not even aware of it. In India even though the speeds are low the roads don't offer a lot of grip due to potholes, debris and generally poor driving habits so for the safety of all MANUFACTURER'S PLEASE OFFER ABS AS STANDARD
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Old 5th May 2011, 12:53   #57
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

IMHO, it is only such realisations by ous buying customers which if translated into sales will make the manufacturers realise that their ABS equipped models are selling more than the base versions. However, it is still totally unfair that they are forcing the Indian car buyer to pay for other things.
but as an example, if we order a plate of idli with chutney for example, would we like it if we are forced to pay for the breakfast buffet that includes dosas/ wadas and omlettes (even though you dont want any of it)?

Last edited by selfdrive : 5th May 2011 at 12:56. Reason: typo corrected
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Old 5th May 2011, 14:32   #58
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
I think the most fully loaded base variant with most features sold in India is the Tata Aria. The feature list beats most European base variants too.
Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia (earlier model 1.4 HTP) are two such cars that (Fabia used to!) comes with Airbags as Standard across all variants including the base one. Both of them are pretty well known for low sales figures mainly because of High Price tag.

Lesson learnt, the New Fabia comes with many useful features deleted but at a reasonable price!
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Old 5th May 2011, 15:21   #59
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
IMHO, it is only such realisations by ous buying customers which if translated into sales will make the manufacturers realise that their ABS equipped models are selling more than the base versions. However, it is still totally unfair that they are forcing the Indian car buyer to pay for other things.
but as an example, if we order a plate of idli with chutney for example, would we like it if we are forced to pay for the breakfast buffet that includes dosas/ wadas and omlettes (even though you dont want any of it)?
Let me try to explain the situation again with your example itself:

Do you realize that having Idli in a shop selling just idlis is cheaper than the cost of having idli in a shop which offers Dosa, vada and omlettes.
Because there is some cost involved in providing additional choices.

Likewise, providing the option of putting ABS and Airbag even in base variants would mean the cost of base variants (even withouth them) will increase. Thus manufacturers will loose out the edge in India, as VFM is the primary selling point.

That is the reason no manufacturer provides them in base variant.
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Old 5th May 2011, 15:50   #60
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
Likewise, providing the option of putting ABS and Airbag even in base variants would mean the cost of base variants (even withouth them) will increase. Thus manufacturers will loose out the edge in India, as VFM is the primary selling point.

That is the reason no manufacturer provides them in base variant.
Agreed, I understand why they dont give it as standard in the base version. And the cars that provide it in base version dont work in the Indian market (case in point being Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia prior to repositioning). What I am saying here is that the manufacturer can continue to provide the base version and in addition to the base version provide:
1. a first mid range version which is in fact the base version + safety features
2. a second mid range version which can be the mid range version offered today (base version + other features, not necessarily safety features)
3. top end version, whatever they want to offer

Subsequently, customers have the choice to buy what they want and dont end up paying for things they dont want. In any case they take months to deliver cars; at least it will be more beneficial to the Indian buyer if they get a version that is customised to their needs.
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