If you were expecting to ride a driverless car in India anytime soon, then your expectation is most likely to be never fulfilled, at least till the time the Modi government is at the centre. Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari recently addressed the media and made it clear that the government won’t be allowing driverless cars in the South Asian country as they’re not interested in promoting any technology or policy that has a potential of making a large number of hardworking people jobless.
He said, “No driverless cars will be allowed in India. The government is not going to promote any technology or policy that will make people jobless.”
Backing his statement with facts, Gadkari revealed that as of today India is running on a shortage of 2.2 million drivers. He further added that driving skills have a potential of creating employment for a whopping five million people in the second-largest population on Earth. Hence, the government isn’t in favour of erasing these high employment numbers by green lighting driverless cars.
“I saw in Sweden a 70-year-old man was driving a taxi. There (Western countries), they have less people. Here, we have more people and they need jobs. Driverless cars will take away those jobs. I am certain on this issue,” he said.
Gadkari also gave the example of how famous Cab aggregators in the country like Ola and Uber are already making big bucks by taking advantage of the driving talent pool of our country, but if they think that they can make even more money by bringing in driverless cars in the country and rendering Indians unemployed, the government won’t let the situation go so far.
Recently, a survey found out that there is a 50% chance that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will surpass human intelligence in all areas within a period of about 45 years. The study conducted by researcher Katja Grace at the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute and a team involved surveying a total of 1,634 artificial intelligence researchers from all around the world.
The main aim of Grace’s survey was to find out about when exactly do the AI experts believe that intelligent machines and the AI that power them will beat human intelligence in a number of different contexts.
The survey results shows that experts believes that within the next decade, AI has the capability of outrunning human beings in tasks like translating languages (by 2024), writing high school essays (by 2026), and driving trucks (by 2027).
According to a study done by Boston Consulting Group, the global autonomous cars market is expected to be worth a whopping $42 billion by 2025 and a jaw-dropping $77 billion by 2035. According to it, a quarter of all cars sold could be autonomous vehicles by then. But, it seems, India won’t be a major part of these figures.
While the government isn’t open to driverless cars for now, it is more than promoting the trend of electric cars. Recently, India’s power minister Piyush Goyal announced that the government is aiming to have an all electric-car fleet on Indian roads by the year 2030.
Discussing the plan of action for making the 2030 aim possible, Goyal said that the government could initially handhold the electric vehicle industry for 2-3 years and help it stabilise and after that the industry can take it from there and build on the success trajectory.