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Benchmarking and Test Scores – Cars in Indian Market

Advanced Structures India Pvt Ltd is an independent automotive product development company based out of Bangalore, India with operations in India, China and US. Below is blog entry from our engineers about Vehicle Benchmarking. We can be contacted on business@advancedstructures.in for business enquiries and careers@advancedstructures.in for open positions.


The DataPassenger cars benchmarking purpose

India has seen a sharp increase in demand of more sophisticated cars and better user experience. This demand goes beyond specifications and is now focused on attributes. These attributes influence the perception of the consumer for a brand/model and thus play an important role in buyer’s decision making process. In this blog, we’ll see the performance of Premium Hatchbacks on sale in India and identify sales trends.

We benchmark the parameters which directly affect the perceived consumer experience. These measured parameters have been selected after extensive consumer feedback. We have then conducted measurements on more than 50 different models on sale in the country to create the most exhaustive and frequently updated database.

This blog showcases few notable points covering the premium B segment hatchbacks. Exact numbers have been removed from this page however the relative illustrations and trends have been retained.

Benchmark Parameters

We worked with average consumers, automotive enthusiasts, reviewers and engineers to identify the parameters to be covered. The following image depicts the process in detail –

Benchmark IMG3

This process narrowed down consumer expectations to the following parameters:

benchmark parameters NVH, comfort, safety

Out of these parameters, cost of ownership and after sales service are widely benchmarked across the world and in India to rank car manufacturers. Testing Safety of the car is in the scope of regulatory agencies in India and abroad. Hence our study has excluded these two parameters. Comfort and Performance affect the consumer in day to day life but are never benchmarked at large scale across the segments. We’ve broken these vital attributes into sub groups for measurement and comparison.

noise, vibration, comfort, effort, seat

Measurement Process

car benchmarking processMore details on the measurement method are available here.

 

B Segment Car Trends

Following graph shows the comparison for various parameters for driver. As these are Rankings, the lower the better. The scores are on a scale of 1 to 6, 1 being best.

NVH Comfort benchmark graph

  • Noise refers to noise levels as heard by driver and passengers, articulation index and similar parameters.
  • Vibration score includes seat pad vibrations, tactile vibration on steering and gear lever, floor vibrations etc. More on this here.
  • Bump isolation measures the acceleration and displacement experienced by the driver and passenger when the car is driven on a standard bump at a fixed speed.
  • Seat comfort is an extensive in-depth measurement and analysis of seat pressure profile and high pressure zones to ascertain cushion performance, thigh and lumbar support and more parameters under different driving conditions. More in-depth reading of this can be done here.
  • Steering score refers to effort required by the driver in doing several steering intensive maneuvers like parallel parking and U-Turn.
  • ABC pedal score is a result of effort required by the driver in pressing these pedals under typical running conditions.
  • Acceleration refers 0-60 kmph and 0-100 kmph times and g values under normal usage conditions (tyre pressure, fuel carried and occupancy). Braking refers to time and de-acceleration from these speeds.

From the above trends, we can see the focus of different cars and their performance on those attributes. This bird’s eye view in explored in detail in the following sections to understand their effect on the overall scores.

Noise

Below table represents detail noise analysis of each car for Idle, city and highway drive conditions.

Noise levels in Indian cars

Green represents best performance while red represents worst.

We’ve measured and analysed noise parameters of each car for overall interior noise levels, loudness and Articulation Index values to understand the interior noise characteristics of a vehicle across varying speed range and gears. Interior noise values are calculated after detailed frequency analysis to understand contribution of various noise sources like tyre, wind & engine.

Vibration and Steering Effort

Following table shows detail analysis of vibration at various locations like seat, gear lever, steering and floor which effects comfort of driver combined with the steering effort parameters like torque and number of rotations.

Steering Effort and Vibration Levels

Green represents best performance while red represents worst.

Seat Comfort

Following table shows the seat performance of various cars in the selected segment.  This is evaluated based on-

  1. Peak pressure
  2. Contact area
  3. Various seat adjustment features
  4. Seat Design features- various support.

Seat performance pressure cushion indian cars

Green represents best performance while red represents worst.

Driver vs Rear Passenger Experience

Vehicle does not behave similar for all the seats and they are designed to specifically meet target requirements specific to each seat. These differences create a big difference while deciding whether you are going to feel more comfortable in driver seat or passenger seat. In the following graphs it can be seen that some vehicles have better comfort in front seat as compared to rear passenger seat.

Front and Rear Seat performance ride NVH

Jazz provides a better rear seat noise comfort compared to all cars and shows a different trend from rest of the cars. All the cars show higher rear seat noise levels as compared to driver seat i.e. inferior Noise performance at rear compared to front while Jazz has better noise performance in rear compared to front. Similar trend is noticed for the seat bump isolation analysis too where front seat shows more comfort as compared to rear seat.

car sales vs performance data

 

 

User Experience Benchmark Database as a management tool

car benchmark as product planning tool

The adjacent diagram  illustrates the utility of this data in realigning product development resources to ensure maximum improvement on the attributes most important to the consumers. Instant availability and frequent availability of such data can drastically reduce product planning timelines.


Rahul Ramola

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