Balancing act: vehicle durability and driving comforthttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/balancing-act-vehicle-durability-and-driving-comfort/

Balancing act: vehicle durability and driving comfort

It's every car manufacturer’s dream to roll out a vehicle suited to the Indian roads,striking the right balance between comfort and security.

It’s every car manufacturer’s dream to roll out a vehicle suited to the Indian roads,striking the right balance between comfort and security. This task will be made that much easier with the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI),Pune,developing a system to read road profiles and study their effect on vehicle durability and ride.

ARAI has already conducted the road profile reading and collected data on 1,000 km in western India,covering Maharashtra,Madhya Pradesh and parts of Gujarat. Now,it plans to conduct a similar exercise in other parts of the country.

Of the 1000 km covered,state highways account for 45 per cent,national highways 33 per cent,city roads 13 per cent,country roads seven per cent and expressway two per cent.

“There is a need for reading the road profile with a system which can be useful for designers to develop vehicles best suited for Indian road conditions. The road profile helps in vehicle making by analysing the ride comfort,durability and vehicle handling,” said M R Saraf,deputy director,ARAI,who headed a team of six engineers to develop the system.

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The system can record all the parameters like load,vibration and how many times the brake was applied,among others. On Pune-Mumbai Expressway,the International Roughness Index (IRI) ranged between 3 and 5,national highway recorded 5-8 IRI,while in country roads it was 22-24 IRI. The ARAI system is fitted with four laser sensors,four accelerometers,GPS,wheel encoder,two video cameras and a data acquisitions system. It also records video feed of the area.

ARAI is in talks with auto majors to go commercial. At a later stage,the plan is to carry out profile measurement of roads even outside India,as per customer requirement.