Union Minister for Road and Transport, Nitin Gadkari stated that driverless cars won't be plying anytime soon on Indian roads while speaking at Tech and Auto Awards on 18th December. While the global automobile industry is focusing on the development of self-driving systems that are reliable in real world conditions, India is unfortunately caught in the backhand. Road conditions are still quite unfavorable for implementing self-driving tech in cars as of now and government policies also seem to be leaning against self-driving cars. Moreover, allowing Self-driving cars would cost many cab drivers their job which could lead to unemployment in huge numbers.
However, Nitin Gadkari went on to say that Electric Vehicles are the current need of the hour for India as they are less polluting and more energy efficient compared to conventional fueled vehicles. He went on to say that India needs technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and electronics but not at the cost of the youth's employment which is a major concern for the government given the population of India. The minister also said that he isn't completely brushing off introducing self-driving cars in India and that he would be open to discussion on its proposal.
Earlier this year, the Union Minister had talked about introducing Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) in all cars by 2022 but the timeline seems to be approaching fast without much work done towards the claims. Not only is the time frame less, ADAS are quite costly to install and would add a significant difference to the car's pricing if implemented in them. ADAS use artificial intelligence to ensure minimum driver errors by constantly monitoring outside and in-car environment. Currently only Volvo and Mercedes offer real advanced assistance systems like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance and autonomous emergency braking.