India is fast becoming one of the biggest two-wheeler markets around the world. This can be seen in the large choice of two-wheelers available for all segments; and also in the passionate and ever-growing motorcycling community that exists in the country. Riding a bike has become a rite of passage in India, and this has opened the doors to local and foreign two-wheeler brands to really bring their best products and features to Indian shores.
The size of the market guarantees that every innovation can reach a large audience in India, and Bosch is aware of this fact. We are working at breakneck pace to cater to this dynamic segment in the country, and some of our brightest minds are working on engineering performance and safety solutions for the Indian market that can compete with world-class global standards.
Bosch’s transformative vision
One of the most important factors of two-wheeler riding is that it should be fun. All of Bosch’s two-wheeler solutions do work with this parameter in mind. However, in a country like India where congested and uneven roads are the norm, two-wheelers are an effective way to beat the traffic too. So, performance and ‘good mileage’ are the age-old standards by which a two-wheeler will always be judged. The challenge then, is to meet the traditional demands that riders have of bikes, while also introducing safety features that improve the riding experience.
With this in mind, Bosch is focusing its efforts on three key areas in the two-wheeler market – stability during braking and acceleration; predictive safety with innovative surround-sensing; and connecting a two-wheeler more effectively with its environment. During all our tests and focus interviews, we found that by improving these three core areas, we can drastically improve the two-wheeler riding experience in the country and enhance the demand across market segments.
Focusing on these core areas will enable Bosch to achieve accident-free mobility in the country. From the braking perspective, Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) are soon going to become mandatory for all two-wheelers in the nation. Bosch’s ABS assembly is one of the most advanced in the country and is ensuring all partners and vendors can meet this safety legislation in time. With regard to the performance of the bikes as well, Bosch offers full-fledged technologies that cater to several aspects such as – fuel injection and supply, air management, ignition, sensors and engine control units too. Along with Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC), Bosch can ensure that all two-wheelers in the country provide adequate safety for sudden braking over short distances.
Other connected features such as rider assistance systems and eCall (Emergency Call) are also in the works. They are helping riders enjoy safety during their rides – which is a critical component of the two-wheeler segment in India and a key factor for determining two-wheeler sales as well. Similar features in other countries, like Germany for instance, have led to reduction of one-third crash casualties thanks to bike-to-vehicle communications. We are confident that the impact in India can be higher, and are focusing several of our engineering initiatives towards making such features feasible in the Indian market.
Riding into the future
Another critical aspect that comes into play is the nation’s upcoming transition to BS-VI emission standards. This is leading Bosch to focus on holistic Engine Management Systems (EMS) for all vehicles. Two-wheelers are also benefitting from the advancements we are making in this domain, as the shared technology can be modified and applied to two-wheelers as well. Over the next few years, Bosch also envisions electrification of two-wheelers to play a critical role. We have the manpower, expertise and technical know-how to tap into this evolution and drive the change.
At a global level, Bosch is also working extensively on Adaptive Cruise Control or ACC, blindspot detection and forward collision warning systems. In the premium motorcycle segment in India (the 150cc-400cc category), these features can be game changers for two-wheeler brands in the country. The fact remains that motorcyclists are the most vulnerable road users around the world, especially in a country like India, where safety awareness and compliance are not high. Bosch recognises this and is helping the two-wheeler market tackle this issue with technology and internationally tested solutions – along with regional innovations.
All the while, the riding experience can never be compromised. It still needs to be fun and affordable in mass market economies in particular. Bosch is ready with such technologies that work with these goals in mind for the two-wheeler segment and we are poised to help all our partners and customers derive the utmost safety, satisfaction and thrill of riding motorcycles with Bosch components in them.