Leading tire manufacturer, Apollo Tyres has announced that in a unique Government – Corporate partnership, it has collaborated with the Global Automotive Research Centre (GARC) to set up a tire track that is the first of its kind in India. Apollo Tyres teamed up with GARC to establish a test track in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, for testing wet grip of tires. This si a primary tire safety test and Apollo Tyres provided the technical expertise needed to get the track ready for testing wet grip of tires, in line with standard specifications.
The establishment of the tire test track is linked to the Indian Government’s plan to implement ‘Star Rating’ of tyres, similar to the Tyre Labelling regulation in Europe. This plan is meant to enhance the safety, the economic and environmental efficiency of road transport by promoting the use of tires that are safe and fuel-efficient and offer low noise levels. The government is working on the establishment of a new Automotive Industry Standard, AIS 142, which will align with UNECE R117. The new standards will involve evaluation of tires with regards to Rolling Sound Emissions, Adhesion on Wet Surfaces and Rolling Resistance.
Commenting on the new test track, Satish Sharma, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA), Apollo Tyres Ltd said that as one of the leaders in the Indian tire industry, Apollo Tyres is interested in promoting the cause of testing the tires and ensuring that its customers across the world get tires of the highest quality. He said that the company was proud to partner with GARC to create the first of its kind wet grip testing track, meeting UNECE R117 standards in India, and thus enhancing India’s self-sufficiency in tire technology. The new facility will not only help Apollo Tyres to test the tires for the Indian market, but also the ones meant for export to overseas markets, and will cater to the need to meet the labelling requirements.
The main roadblock to the Indian government’s plan to implementation of Star Ratings, was the lack of approved test track facilities in India, to evaluate the traction of tires on wet surface or wet grip. Wet grip refers to the relative braking performance on a wet surface. TUV Rheinland, facilitator for automotive homologation, has certified the compliance of the new test track in line with the stipulated conditions as in UNECE R117/ AIS 142.
According to M V Ramachandran, Officer on Special Duty, GARC Test Facilities, using the Wet Grip test facility will help both tire manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers, to evaluate the performance of tires as per AIS-142 which is line with Rev4 of UNECE R117.
Ramachandran added, “This additional facility is possible with the continuous encouragement and support of the competent authority of NATRIP. The work done by the Vehicle Evaluation Department of GARC and Apollo Tyres’ test team towards finetuning the ABS track to meet the specific requirements, is highly laudable.”
GARC is a state of the art center that has been established by Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Govt of India (under NATRiP), and is located at Oragadam near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. GARC has been authorised as the test agency under CMVR 126 by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Govt of India. The organization has fully equipped R&D and homologation test facilities, including test tracks, to certify all category of vehicles, systems and components as per national and international standards.
Daniele Lorenzetti, Chief Technology Officer, Apollo tyres Ltd commented “The new wet grip track, developed by GARC and Apollo Tyres, shows very good level of correlation with test tracks in Europe. This will enable Apollo Tyres to reduce time to market its products, along with the reduction in testing costs. We are further exploring opportunities to collaborate with NATRiP to enhance the testing capabilities to support the mid/long term challenges.”
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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