Why Bosch is Part of The Polar Odyssey – Journey of a Lifetime

It is found that there is one death every four minutes due to a road accident in India. A majority of these accidents involves two-wheelers. While many incidents can be avoided simply by following Pictographtraffic rules and wearing safety gear, the truth is that some incidents are unavoidable due to factors that are out of the victims’ hands. These include bad road conditions, erratic driving from other drivers/riders or lastly, improper functioning of a vehicle.

In order to help solve this issue, Bosch has proactively started focusing on improving safety features on two-wheelers that are prevalent in India. We have found that there is a lot of scope for improvement with the right technology. We feel that we are one of the best placed entities to really make a tangible impact here and help reduce the number of fatalities that occur on Indian roads due to two-wheeler mishaps.

Using technology for safety
We narrowed down two-wheeler safety to two key sections – effective braking and reliable engine performance. These are the most basic factors that every two-wheeler must have. In order to provide these, we have thus devised –

  • ABS – ‘Antilock Braking System’ that helps riders stay in control of their bikes when they have to suddenly apply brakes. Bosch’s two-channel ABS9 is smaller and lighter since it is specially designed for emerging markets. Due to its universal nature that is suitable for all two-wheelers with hydraulic front and rear wheel brakes, it offers complete control in case of hard braking, even on slippery roads.
  • EMS – ‘Engine Management System’ powered by Bosch’s indigenously developed electronic control unit EPM44. It includes components for fuel injection and supply, air management, ignition, exhaust gas treatment and engine control units. The technology used in Bosch EMS not only delivers a smooth and safe ride, it also enables two-wheelers to meet new emission regulations.

We expect the Indian two-wheeler segment to gradually start adopting clean, safe and connected solutions over the next few years. And we feel that these two components are absolutely vital for that adoption to be successful. Both these solutions are developed within Bosch – combining its German engineering precision and localized solutions – and we expect such features to eventually become the norm amongst all classes of two-wheelers available in the market.

Putting the technology to the test
Bosch is at the forefront of developing such technologies and safety systems for two-wheelers. Additionally, Bosch also understands that driving major change also requires educating riders about safety features and safe riding habits.

That’s why we have engaged with The Polar Odyssey – an Arctic to Antarctic ride covering 50,000 km over 17 different countries. Three riders are part of this mammoth journey over grueling roads and in extreme weather, and the bikes are equipped with Bosch’s ABS and EMS. While the journey itself is a memorable one for the riders, for Bosch this represents an ideal test of its safety features in extreme conditions. It will be interesting to see how the bikes perform in these conditions.

PictographAnother added benefit of The Polar Odyssey is to educate riders about the merits of safe riding. This education first starts at home, and that’s why we are also enabling Bosch employees to become aware. One of our very own employees, Avinash PS, is part of The Polar Odyssey, and we are proud to have supported him for this memorable trip. We encourage Avinash, and his fellow riders Deepak Kamath and Deepak Gupta, to have a wonderful and safe ride while pushing the limits of their machines. The learnings and feedback about Bosch ABS and EMS that they bring back from this journey will be very valuable for us in shaping the future of two-wheeler safety in the country.

In my next blog in this series I’ll be talking about the performance of Bosch ABS and EMS during The Polar Odyssey so far and sharing my thoughts on what the future of two-wheeler safety and performance looks like.

*The Polar Odyssey is a pole-to-pole journey that will take 3 riders from the Arctic to Antarctic on Bajaj Dominars and cover more than 50,000 km across 17 different countries in 2 continents. It is one of the most ambitious and challenging adventure motorcycle expeditions ever undertaken by a group of Indian riders. You can read more about The Polar Odyssey here.

About the author

Prabhu Panduranga

Prabhu Panduranga

Regional President, Powertrain Solutions Regional Business unit Head, 2 Wheeler & Power sports
Prabhu Panduranga is the Regional President for Powertrain Solutions - PC Segement (formerly known as Gasoline Systems) in Bosch Ltd. since September 1st 2016. Currently, he also holds an additional reposonsibility of Business Head of 2 wheeler & power sports division in India. Prior to this role, he was the Managing Director of Bosch Automotive Electronics India Pvt.Ltd. He has been associated with the Bosch Group for 30 years, having worked in various divisions within.

Prabhu Panduranga was born on July 18th, 1964 in Karnataka (state) India. He is married and has two children. He holds a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Mysore University and a PGDBA from Bangalore University.

Career stages in the Bosch Group

1987: Joined Bosch Group (MICO) and worked at Naganathapura plant with responsibilities in different plant functions until 1995.

1995-2008: Worked with Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Ltd. in R&D for Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for Diesel Division in various capacities. He was also responsible as Head of Department for ECU development (hardware and software systems) for passenger car segment for emerging countries.

2008: Commandeered as Regional Business Unit Head for Diesel and Gasoline ECU business at Bosch Limited, India.

2010: Assumed additional responsibility as Global Head for two-wheeler systems and business development in Gasoline Division of Bosch

2013: Appointed as Managing Director in Bosch Automotive Electronics India Pvt. Ltd.

2016: Took over as Regional President of Gasoline Systems India & Regional Business responsibility of 2 Wheeler & Powersports India.

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