Government will never allow driverless cars in India, Gadkari says

In India, autonomous driving technology will undoubtedly face significant challenges, unlike other developed nations, due to poor road infrastructure without standardised signage and lane markings, and poor driver behaviour.

By Kiran Murali calendar 18 Dec 2023 Views icon5830 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Government will never allow driverless cars in India, Gadkari says

The Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today said the government will not let driverless cars operate in India, citing concerns about jobs for the drivers. The minister’s comments come at a time when self-driving technology is gaining popularity globally. 

“I will never allow driverless vehicles in India. Many people working as drivers will lose their jobs,” Gadkari told Autocar Professional on the sidelines of an industry event in Delhi today.

Self-driving cars, or autonomous cars, come with technology that enables vehicles to navigate without a human driver, using sensors, cameras, radars, software, and artificial intelligence.

Global automakers, technology companies, and startups, such as Tesla, Volkswagen, General Motors, Apple, Google, Uber, and Mobileye are betting big on autonomous vehicle technology and have been testing it for some time. The technology is still in its early stages, and rapid adoption is a long way. 

US-based Society of Automotive Engineers, or SAE, has classified autonomous driving into six levels, ranging from Level 0, which has no automation, to Level 5, which enables full driving automation without a driver.

In India, autonomous driving technology will undoubtedly face significant challenges, unlike other developed nations, due to poor road infrastructure without standardised signage and lane markings, and poor driver behaviour.

Some automakers in India, including Hyundai, M&M, Honda, MG and BYD, offer autonomous driver assistance systems, or ADAS, which is considered Level 1-2 autonomy. The system provides features such as automatic emergency braking, lane departure, and adaptive cruise control.

The global companies pushing for driverless cars have been touting the technology’s capability to reduce road accidents, traffic congestion, and the cost of driving.

India reported 461,312 road accidents in 2022, which claimed 168,491 lives. While expressing concerns about the rise in the number of accidents, Gadkari has earlier said the government is targeting cutting the number of road accidents by half by 2030.

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