India can be automotive research leader: Scientific advisor

October 3rd, 2008 - 9:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 3 (IANS) With the entry of global automobile companies into India and also their research arms, automotive research is one of the areas where India can be a leader, said a top Indian scientist here Friday. “In a developing country, process and product innovation would create more wealth,” R. Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to the central government.

Speaking at the Automotive R&D Trends 2015, a conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Tamil Nadu Technology Development and Promotion Centre (TNTDPC), he said that by the end of this century, the temperature change will be between 1.1 to 6.4 degrees centigrade as compared to the 1980-1999 levels, which in turn would result in rise in sea levels.

“The per capita emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) is 20.01 tonne by the USA, 9.87 tonne by Japan, 11.71 tonne Russia and India is just 1.02 tonne,” he added.

Emphasising the need for an intelligent transportation system, he cited the vehicle tracking system installed by the Tamil Nadu government in 100 buses that would convey to the bus station in advance its likely arrival time.

“This helps the people to know to which bay the bus would stop and at what time.”

Predicting a shortage of doctorates and also professors to guide research associates in the years to come, he called upon the automobile industry to have a close interaction with the academia and even identify students at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels and sponsor their studies.

According to Srivats Ram, managing director, Wheels India Ltd, the purpose of design innovation is to offer reduced life time ownership costs of a vehicle, cradle to cradle design and baby-proof or safe vehicle.

Citing Boeing that reduced the weight of its Dreamliner plane to increase fuel efficiency, he said the automobile players too should look at alternative materials like composites to cut their vehicle weight.

“Boeing increased the use of composites by 30 percent to 50 percent. This in turn increased the fuel efficiency by 20 percent.”

He said the vehicle manufacturers should increase the use of recyclable materials - cradle to cradle design - and also materials like natural fibre for seats, head rests, sun visors.

“Baby proofing is having active safety mechanisms. Like the defence sector, automobiles too could look at having night vision glasses, adaptive front lighting or safe tyres,” Ram suggested.

According to him innovative design also means making an existing part redundant.

“If there is a windshield glass that has the properties of a lotus leaf - repulsing water - there will not be a need for wiper.

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