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The Road Transport & Highway Minister, Nitin Gadkari has announced that driverless cars (self-driving cars) will not be allowed in India. Delivering a speech at a recent event, the minister told News18 that India should concentrate more on electric vehicles rather than driverless cars.
One of the main reasons stated by Gadkari for not allowing driverless cars is the country is due to the increase in unemployment it could result in. The minister stated that driverless cars could affect the cab drivers in India, leading to a loss in jobs in a field which already has a shortage. According to a study, there is a lack of skilled drivers in India, especially in rural areas. This shortage is said to increase further to almost 50 per cent by 2020.
Gadkari stated, "We need technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and electronics. But, at the same time, we have to protect the employment of the country's youth."
He further added, that instead of driverless cars, India should concentrate more on electric vehicles. He stated, "Driverless cars cannot be allowed now. India first needs to provide jobs to everybody. I am open to discussion but I don't think that is a priority now."
"The need of the hour is electric vehicles that are less polluting and more energy-efficient than cars running on conventional fossil fuels."
He stressed on manpower being the main advantage in the country. Other countries with smaller population can have cab services with driverless technology. However, with a population such as in India, this could result in loss of jobs and high unemployment rates.
Having said this, the government is ready to allow advanced driver safety aids, such as autonomous braking assists to reduce the road accidents in the country.
Thoughts On No Driverless Cars For India
Driverless Cars are the latest trend in the automotive industry. Many major car brands around the world are producing "stage 5' autonomous driving tech, which completely eliminates the necessity of the driver. However, such technologies do not offer any fail-safe in case of any problems with the technology.