It seems that the two wheeler industry is not far
behind the car industry when it comes to modern technology that directly has a
bearing on the safety factor. To what extent has the Continental vehicle
dynamics offerings been able to penetrate the low cost markets like India,
since India is the largest two wheeler market in the world?
India tops the list of nations in total
number of road deaths and a significant part of these accidents involve
motorcycles. According to an accident research of the German automobile club
(ADAC), around a fifth of all motorcycle accidents could have been prevented,
if the motorbike had been fitted with an anti-lock brake system (ABS). Just
like cars, it is also important for motorcycles to remain stable and steerable
during a panic brake situation. Already in 2010 we were the first to introduce
ABS in an Indian motorcycle - in the TVS Apache.
To improve the active safety of motorcycles,
Continental recently expanded its range of electronic brake systems by
introducing a one-channel ABS for smaller motorcycles and scooters. Based on
its proven ABS technology for passenger cars it was developed especially for
cost-sensitive markets such as Asia, where two-wheelers are equipped with only
a hydraulic brake on the front wheel. The one-channel ABS is the newest
addition to Continental’s portfolio of motorcycle systems currently in series
production: Motorcycle Integral Brake Systems and Motorcycle Anti-Lock Brake
Systems (2-Channel ABS).
The response has been very positive from the
Indian market with end customers demonstrating interest and awareness in safety
systems such as ABS. We believe that a
regulation would further drive uptake of safety technologies further in the two
How many manufacturing locations do you have in India?
has seven manufacturing locations in India, spread across the three automotive
hubs in the country. These plants are for both the automotive and rubber
groups. Continental’s Chassis & Safety Division has a hydraulic brakes
plant in Manesar, which was inaugurated last year, an automotive plant
Bangalore where airbag ECUs are manufactured, amongst other products, an
engineering center in Bangalore, Tech Center India, where engineers are working
on globally relevant technologies such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
(ADAS) as well as locally relevant solutions such as the one-channel ABS for
the BRIC markets.
Among the various vehicle dynamics offerings, is there
any product in particular that you can term as revolutionary and has a great
scope for a country like India, if not now, perhaps in the future?
opportunity lies in improving the active safety of motorcycles. Continental’s
one-channel ABS for smaller motorcycles and scooters is a truly innovative
With a box
volume of significantly less than 300 cubic centimeters and weighing roughly
420 grams the motorcycle ABS is very light and can be easily applied to suit
the widest range of motorcycle and motor scooter models. ABS control of the
front wheel stops it from locking up even during a panic brake by the driver
and prevents a fall. A wheel speed sensor constantly monitors the front wheel’s
turning speed and from this the algorithms in the control unit calculate
whether braking could potentially cause the front wheel to lock up. If so, the
system will reduce the brake pressure, thus preventing loss of directional
stability and road holding.
When we talk of CO2 reduction and other such
environment friendly terms, how do your products ensure that? Can you briefly
Powertrain division of Continental is extremely focused on Clean Power. This
includes systems and products in the area of Fuel Injection, Exhaust after
treatment and Electrification. In the 2 wheeler space, Continental operates through
"Synerject" which is a JV with M/s Orbital Corporation. Synerject
focuses on Powertrain solutions for 2 and 3-wheelers and recreational
vehicles. Through this JV, Continental
has develops and supplies innovative engine management systems (EMS) for two
India’s two-wheeler industry is still mainly on carburetor technology. The true
driver for the introduction of EMS technology is the implementation of stricter
emission requirements. The major roadblock is the higher cost because of the
introduction of EFI technology. The implementation of Bharat Stage 4 will not
enforce the introduction of EFI technology. A change in the mass market is
expected at the time of the implementation of Bharat Stage 5 in 2020.
to engine management, Continental contributes to a cleaner environment by being
a significant player in the exhaust after treatment area, through Emitec which
provides metallic substrates to almost all 2 wheeler OEM's in India.
Can you give a background note on some of your plants
/ R&D centres across the globe and the extent of your manufacturing /
R&D capabilities that enable your company to cater to the two wheeler
has been developing and producing anti-lock brake systems for motorcycles for
ten years. Thanks to decades of experience in the development of
state-of-the-art brake systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, our
engineers’ passion for driving motorcycles and excellent knowledge of their
special driving dynamism, there is a solution available for motorcycle
manufacturers which serves all vehicle classes. For us it is important to be
present in the countries where our customers are located. That aspect – in the
market for the market – is also reflected by our R&D footprint for
electronic brake systems for motorcycles with locations in Europe, India,
China, Japan, the USA and Brazil. In the beginning of 2015 we expanded our
R&D footprint in India and inaugurated a new Technical Center India (TCI)
in Bangalore to meet the increasing demand for engineering and software
development skills to support global R&D projects as well as local
customers. Today, our engineers in India are developing one channel ABS
solutions for two wheelers alongside highly sophisticated technologies for
domains such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Adding value with its
understanding of the local market and customers, TCI is fast emerging as a
‘Center of Competence’ for two-wheeler markets and for customised products for
the BRIC countries.”
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