Won’t Allow Driverless Cars in India, Says Nitin Gadkari

Autonomous cars may result in job losses in the country, besides having to negotiate chaotic traffic conditions.

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Car and Bike
2 min read
Google’s self-driving car. 
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Driving enthusiasts in India, you’ll probably never see or get to sit in one of those autonomous or driverless cars in the country. Union minister for Road Transport and Highways and MSME Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said he will not allow driverless cars in India as these could take away jobs of several lakh people in the country.

"Several big personalities from the country met me and said they want to bring driverless vehicles to India. I clearly told them that until I am there, I shall not allow driverless cars in India. I was asked whether I oppose new technology. I said not at all.

"There are 40 lakh drivers in the country and a shortage of 25 lakh drivers. I will not let the jobs of 1 crore people be snatched away," Gadkari said.

The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSME was addressing an event to distribute leather tool kits at a function organised by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

Self-driving cars from Waymo and Tesla have been plying on the roads in the United States, but we’re yet to come across similar models trying their luck in a country like India, where the roads are crowded with pedestrians and few traffic regulations are followed.

Gadkari’s belief is that bringing such technology could directly impact the job prospects of drivers with companies like Ola, Uber and more.

But one has to consider its safety issues as well. Multiple Tesla models have reported accidents, wherein people have been injured as well as killed.

Having said that, it’ll be interesting to see if the Union Minister will have objections to the same, if global giants like Mercedes-Benz or even Tesla for that matter launch vehicles with self-driving capability in India in the foreseeable future.

(With PTI inputs)

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