In a recent interview, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari criticises the idea of driverless vehicles. He maintains his stance on this matter. Nitin Gadkari is famous for his passionate policies and projects in terms of mobility solutions. In fact, he is an open advocate for alternate fuels for vehicles including hydrogen and electricity. Moreover, he owns the only hydrogen vehicle in India, Toyota Mirai. For now, let us take a look at the details of this latest case.
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Nitin Gadkari Opposes Driverless Vehicles
The ultimate aim of autonomous cars is to free the drivers of the duty to actively drive them. Although Level 5 fully autonomous cars are still some years away from existence, industry leaders are enthusiastically working toward it. Tesla is a prime candidate who believes in this narrative. It wants to offer a futuristic vision to its customers by offering cars which won’t need any input from the occupants. As they enter the car and set the destination, they can sit back and relax. The vehicle will be capable of dropping them to their destination.
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However, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways mentions that in India, around 70-80 lakh drivers have jobs in this domain. If autonomous cars come into existence, they will lose their jobs. That will create a huge issue of unemployment. He further goes on to mention that this arrangement is okay for countries with small populations. As a matter of fact, he echoed the same sentiments back in July 2017 and December 2019 as well. Therefore, his stance on driverless cars is unequivocal.
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I totally understand the logic behind Nitin Gadkari’s statement. However, that is the nature of technological advancement in every field. While a lot of people can potentially lose their jobs, new jobs can also be created in the same sector. Apart from that, the arrival and mass adoption of autonomous cars is still a long time away from us. Despite the rigorous endeavours by some top players and new startups, due to the complexity of execution and the risks associated with it, we won’t be witnessing mass-market autonomous cars anytime soon.