The United States has some of the most robust off-roading standards in the world.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists off-highway vehicle standards as a top priority in its highway safety efforts.
India, meanwhile, has the lowest number of fatalities per 100,000 people in the country.
India’s National Highway Authority has been working on standards for off-ramps and ramps, as well as off-trucks, for years.
NHTSA’s latest set of standards, released in April, aims to provide safety standards that meet the demands of off-roads use.
India has not yet finalized the standards for on-road vehicles, which is a major issue, said Dhananjay Gopalakrishnan, executive director of the India Off-Road Vehicle Manufacturers Association (IORMA).
“Our manufacturers have been working to come up with standards for these vehicles for over 10 years, and they haven’t even come close to achieving this yet,” Gopalukrishnan told The Times.
“I think they’re going to have to wait at least three to five years for it to be finalised.”
India’s Department of Road Transport and Highways (DSTH) has also been working for years to come to terms with the new standards, but Gopalakhrishnan said the process has been slow.
“We haven’t been able to meet our own deadlines.
We’re going through it all, but there’s still work to be done,” he said.
India was already one of the top-ranked countries for off roads vehicle standards in 2015, according to the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index, ranking 18th.
The US, however, fell to 15th place, after India.
A number of factors have contributed to India’s ranking decline, including its reliance on imports and exports, its high road fatalities and its slow pace of innovation in off-Road Vehicles (OSVs).
India’s current OSV standard is more than a decade old and has only been updated once.
“This is not a perfect system.
There are still major gaps in the OSV standards and there are still areas that need to be fixed,” Gomalakrishnan said.
He also pointed out that while the US and India have had OSV safety standards in place for many years, they have been inconsistent.
“We have not yet achieved a standard that is consistent with the standards set by the U.S. or other countries.”
India has already implemented the new OSV Standard for onroad vehicles on some roads, including the Mysore-Shimla highway.
The OSV Standards Committee, which was set up by NHTS in 2015 to standardise off-trail vehicle standards, was also supposed to come out with the first version of the OSU Standards in January 2018.
However, Gopalkhrishnan noted that the committee has yet to come together and the work on the standard is not finished yet.
“It’s not easy for us to get the final standards out in a timely manner,” he added.
The NHT Safety Council, a body that monitors and promotes standards, has not released its final version of standards yet.
It is expected to be released sometime next year.
Gopalkrishnan also said the safety standards are being put in place as soon as possible.
“There’s not even a final document yet.
The standards committee has been in touch with our manufacturers for some time, but we have yet to get a final product,” he pointed out.
India is also working on OSU standards for high-speed road vehicles, including some high-performance off-top-end trucks, but the NHTAS has not made them official yet.
While it is a step in the right direction, it is not enough for India to meet its standards.
“Our off-street truck standard has been developed over 10-15 years and it has been validated,” Gomes said.
“The NHTOS standards have not been finalized yet.”
India is expected soon to start the process of developing its own OSU standard for on road vehicles.
It has already started developing standards for new technologies like electric and hybrid off-the-road vehicle.