Union Road Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari, has stated that driverless cars should not be allowed in India as they will lead to the unemployment of millions of drivers and that road conditions in India are not favourable to the rollout of such cars, reports Financial Express.
Driverless cars, also known as autonomous or self-driving cars, are four-wheeled vehicles, that move around with no or little human input. Though fully-driverless technology is still at an advanced testing stage, partial autonomy has been achieved. Both traditional car-makers like Mercedes and BMW and tech giants like Google are in the fray to capture the market.
“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,” said Mr Gadkari.
Noting that the balance between progress and social responsibility needs to be achieved, he added, “We need technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, and electronics. But, at the same time, we have to protect the employment of the country’s youth.”
He, however, stressed on the need for electric vehicles (EVs) and more economical conventional fuel vehicles to ensure that cab drivers are not threatened with unemployment.
“We will not allow driverless cars in India. I am very clear on this,” the Minister had noted in 2017. However, the government and Mr Gadkari have been vocal about their support for electric vehicles (EVs) and many schemes have been rolled out to encourage their adoption. Apart from reducing India’s massive oil import bill, EVs are also less polluting.
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