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Old 19th April 2011, 01:02   #1
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Default ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

Hi All,

I have recently joined TeamBHP forum and while browsing some of the forums, I come across a very tainted picture of ARAI often labelled as being "bureaucratic, babu-istic, lazy, etc. etc.

I would sincerely like to ask all these shooters from the hip (Some even have several star rating on this forum) whether ever they have had any contact with anyone working with the ARAI? Framing opinions on hearsay is almost the birthright of Indians. (Had we lost the cup, I am sure even the local pan-wala would have had opinion about why Sree shouldn't have played, or why Dhoni shouldn't have came out before Yuvi.. )

Anywayz, what I would like to stress here is ARAI is India's regulatory body due to which many stringent rules have been enforced. There is no dearth of knowledge pool and it employs the best homologation engineers produced in India. The equipment used at ARAI is amongst the best used worldwide and the technicians and test engineers bloody well know how to operate it.

The emission test procedures (not the standards, mind you..) are identical with those in European countries. Our 2/3W emission standards continue to be one of the most stringent in the world. ARAI also is an advisory to the Govt. of India's representation in the UN - ECE standard formulating committee (just google WP29).

Without the stringent and world-wide harmonised regulations, there would have been chaos in Indian automotive arena and we would have still been using yesteryear's vehicles (often dumps from Western countries). Due to these regulations, manufacturer's are forced to bring in newer models which in turn give the Indian consumers a choice equivalent (in most cases) to other markets.

You may have guessed by now that I am an ex-ARAI engineer

But the point I am trying to make is without ARAI and Automotive Regulations, it would have been more difficult than you can even imagine.
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Old 19th April 2011, 09:17   #2
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Default re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

Gansbab

While I appreciate ARAI's role, how on earth dones it manage to pass some three wheeler monstrosities which are slow, unsafe and have diesel motors which are so noisy that a safety expert would not permit such noise in a factory environment?
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Old 19th April 2011, 10:31   #3
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Default re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

Dear Gansbab,

What safety tests are conducted on a three-wheeler autorickshaw?

We also have three-wheeler tempo carriages in Gurgaon. These carry anywhere between six and ten passengers, and are a road hazard for most traffic. I'm sure those vehicles cannot be operational without ARAI permission. Wonder how they get their permission.

Some will remember the three-wheel front drive 'tempos' of the seventies, with positive camber rear wheels so the back wouldn't collapse with huge payloads. These kind of vehicles (including the ones ajmat refers to) are exactly identical, except smaller.

May I suggest the ARAI take a trip of the country to have a quick check on reality, and the gap between what they certify as safe/proper and what actually happens.

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Old 19th April 2011, 11:16   #4
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Default re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

My only grouse with ARAI is the unrealistic FE figures they put out and which manufacturers advertise merrily, resulting in the average customer ending up disappointed when he realises that his car's actual FE is no way near those figures.
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:22   #5
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Default re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansbab View Post
Anywayz, what I would like to stress here is ARAI is India's regulatory body due to which many stringent rules have been enforced.
When is ARAI going to make vehicle manufacturers provide safety features like ABS and Airbags in all their vehicle variants (and not only in the top end), at least as an option? It's long overdue, don't you think?

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:24   #6
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Default re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

Gansbab,

Thanks for putting this forth.
I might have missed the posts you're referring to bashing the ARAI. Or perhaps its frustrations being pointed towards ARAI incorrectly, when in reality its certain laws and policies causing these problems.


Few common frustrations that i hear "related" to ARAI :

- When importing, why does a car thats passed x, y, and z crash tests abroad with flying colours need to be homologated/crash tested again by the ARAI?

- Why are the ARAI fuel efficiency test figures so un-realistic?


Personally, i understand the need for a standardized test that can be repeated accurately time and again, and compared from car to car -- but some people see these as "unrealistic/marketing figures", since the results are almost always higher than real-world conditions. Could the procedure be tuned to be just as repeatable, but provide more real-world driving like results? Is this some international standard being followed (ie more like freeway driving than indian city driving)?

Related thread : How ARAI does its Fuel Efficiency Testing (Article on how ARAI conducts its fuel-efficiency tests)

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 19th April 2011 at 11:31.
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:26   #7
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Default re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
My only grouse with ARAI is the unrealistic FE figures they put out and which manufacturers advertise merrily, resulting in the average customer ending up disappointed when he realises that his car's actual FE is no way near those figures.
FE declared by ARAI are the max values and under standard operating conditions. Actual figures may vary w.r.t the driving conditions. There are happy customers getting FE higher than the value stated by ARAI.
ARAI doesn't publish blind figures, each and every value has got its record and published only after validating the same.

Last edited by mobike008 : 20th April 2011 at 16:50. Reason: Corrected the grammatically wrong last sentence
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:26   #8
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Default re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

@Gabsaab

I am sorry to say, but you seem to suggest that it is the ARAI which has been responsible for the growth of the Indian auto industry.

But here, people, common people like us, will express our opinions with whatever information we are able to gather. And we join these forums, to express our opinions, share our information and also gather information from others and listen to their views.I am happy to see, that we have an ex-ARAI guy among us who will be able to provide us about the inside info.

Also, I am disappointed by your post, which is all praise for ARAI, but does not admit to any problems at all. The ARAI has definitely done well on the emission norms, but on the safety front it fares poorly. What ever safety that we have in our cars is largely because the manufacturers offer them, and some safety conscious customers want to shell out the extra money.

Our crash test norms are a complete sham. Nothing except seat belts and a high-mount stop light seem to be a serious requirement. The trucks and buses on our roads, are danger to everybody. I agree some improvements have been made, but there is still a very long way to go.

One simple thing ARAI can do, stop the transport of truck chassis on the country's highways. Pray tell me what is stopping them??

But like I said, forums are a place where we are here to discuss and express our opinions, and share information with each other. So please don't take anything said by the member's personally. If you feel anything is wrong with an opinion, share your view as to why you think so. That is what we are here to do after all.
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:37   #9
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Default Re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
@Gabsaab
The ARAI has definitely done well on the emission norms, but on the safety front it fares poorly. What ever safety that we have in our cars is largely because the manufacturers offer them, and some safety conscious customers want to shell out the extra money..

Added to cars, what has ARAI done to the off highway vehicles considering the safety portion? For example, the ROPS though mandatory in EU and US is still not introduced here?
Isn't safety of operator's not a concern to them? Added to the above they have made seat belts mandatory in such machines which infact is more fatal to the operator in the event the vehicle topples.

Cheers!
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:39   #10
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Default Re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

ARAI is no where close to being a regulator like SEBI or even TRAI (although this may be debated, in my opinion very few other regulators has been so customer centric).

Where they have failed:

-Fuel efficiency figures are a joke. They should stop it.
-For some reason they felt that headlamp leveler is more important for all than a seatbelt warning (the continuous annoying beep which will make people wear the belt!)
-I truly agree with ajmat, there is no way those 3 wheelers should be on Indian roads.
Worst of all none of them have a rear view mirror.
-I dont know how the pulsar horn made it through ARAI. Its insanely noisy!
-No one in ARAI seems to be bothered about servicing standards.

The list goes on.. ARAI doesnt seem to be in sync with ground realities.
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:44   #11
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Default Re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

i would seriously like to know the body that Audits the ARAI results.

ARAI does have standards that they follow and based on which the tests are performed. However, dont they have the "maker checker" thingy to verify if at all the results are accurate and well justified ? Or checking if the 'test conditions' are realistic and updated to simulate the actual on road conditions !!

E.g:

1) How can safety norm be different across variants ? The high end has ABS-Airbags, Low End variant doesnt. So isnt safety for the passengers in the low end variant important for ARAI ? Why cant they enforce manufacturers to make these safety features as standards across all ??

2) Again taking the example for the FE figures. Even a common man with no technical knowledge at all knows that the figures are completely inaccurate !! What is done to ensure the mistakes (if any) made by ARAI exec's are clarified or checked for its accuracy ??


Lastly, do ARAI follow RTI ?? I have never seen detailed test reports been shared on the websites or to public.

Last edited by dar3dev|l : 19th April 2011 at 12:06.
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:46   #12
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Default Re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansbab View Post
Hi All,

-------------
You may have guessed by now that I am an ex-ARAI engineer

--------
Hi Gansbab, good to have you here, Welcome! As I also come from a similar background (I am a R&D Engineer with an OEM), I can understand where you are coming from. For those who have experience in such a role will understand what I am referring to.

BTW which department were you in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
- When importing, why does a car thats passed x, y, and z crash tests abroad with flying colours need to be homologated/crash tested again by the ARAI?
There is a provision for this- the manufacturer has to first declare / notify in the first instance which countries he will be selling it, if this is done earlier, the tests need not be repeated because most Indian standards are derived / amended from EEC / ECE regulations.

Spike

PS- As per declarations by the manufacturer the vehicle has a "Declared GVW" how many transporters adhere to this limit?

Last edited by SPIKE ARRESTOR : 19th April 2011 at 11:51. Reason: add info
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Old 19th April 2011, 11:56   #13
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Default Re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

I have no problems with FE figures published by ARAI as they are clearly mentioned as 'under test conditions'. My close friends father works for ARAI and like you he is also proud of ARAI's role, but the only argument we have over ARAI's is its role in defining safety guidelines for vehicles we drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansbab View Post
Without the stringent and world-wide harmonised regulations, there would have been chaos in Indian automotive arena and we would have still been using yesteryear's vehicles (often dumps from Western countries). Due to these regulations, manufacturer's are forced to bring in newer models which in turn give the Indian consumers a choice equivalent (in most cases) to other markets.
C'mon, look around and you will still see cars which were discontinued long back are still being sold under different name!!

Can you give us an insight of what all is being done to pass a car as safe to drive? I'm asking you this cause I don't see any published info on ARAI's website.

Last edited by HammerHead : 19th April 2011 at 11:57.
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Old 19th April 2011, 12:19   #14
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Default Re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

Gansabab

welcome aboard.

Of course you cannot today answer on behalf of ARAI but can definately given all of us an insight into what goes on behind the doors.

I am perfectly OK with the kmpl values that ARAI provides as it is as per the same methodology for all car vendors, and in conditions that are more Ideal than Routine.

Also on the Safety front ARAI has done a fair bit, but it definately could do a lot more. I do feel (read presume) that ARAI like most other bodies is influenced by Automobile manufacturers who may be blocking enforcement of more stringent safety measures.

TPMS, Font Airbags, ABS should have by now been made compulsory. Also 3 wheelers luggage carriers and autoricks should have by now been exterminated. Things must be hard but yet could have been better.

Also implementation of safety stardards by the Traffic Police/RTO in India is also very slack and neither is the helmet rule enforced nor is the condition of commercial vehicles checked (lights dont work, tyres are bald). There is too much corruption and though ARAI is not to blame for these, the Automotive scene cannot improve sufficiently without corrective measure in this area as well.

On the polution control front I do feel ARAI has done good work and the standards are reasonably strict.
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Old 19th April 2011, 12:26   #15
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Default Re: ARAI Bashers - Some clarifications from an ex-ARAI engineer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Boss
ARAI don't put any blind figures, each and every value has got its record and published only after validating the same.
You need to check the link posted by Rehaan to know how the FE figure is arrived at.

While the saving grace is the fact that a uniform procedure is used for all cars, the problem is that these are not reflective of the traffic conditions in real life. An aware customer would know the context in which these figures are to be taken and what to actually expect in reality, but the majority of customers think that this is the figure they can expect to get.
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