According to the Union Minister, driverless vehicles are suitable for nations with smaller populations, but they might not be well-suited for a country as populous as India.
Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister, reaffirmed his stance against allowing driverless cars in India. He emphasized that the introduction of autonomous vehicles could potentially lead to unemployment for up to 80 lakh drivers in the country.
“I said in the US itself that I will not allow driverless cars in India at any cost. This is because in our country, a large number of people work as drivers…driverless cars will, therefore, snatch their jobs,” said Gadkari.
Before, Gadkari publicly opposed the concept of introducing driverless cars in the country on two occasions, in July 2017 and December 2019. He argued that implementing such technology could lead to unemployment among drivers, stating this concern consistently in both instances.
During the IIM Nagpur event, the minister addressed the ongoing talks between the Modi government. Tesla, the globally renowned EV manufacturer led by Elon Musk, was the focal point of discussion. These discussions revolved around the potential establishment of a Tesla factory in India.
“We welcome Tesla. But manufacturing in China, and selling in India, that is not possible. We are open to them manufacturing from here only,” he stated.
The statement comes at a time when Tesla is looking to enter the Indian market and also set up a manufacturing unit in the country.
Gadkari underscored the significance of hydrogen as the future’s fuel. He affirmed the government’s dedication to integrating cutting-edge technology for enhancing public infrastructure.
Back in 2019, Gadkari stood against the idea of bringing driverless cars into India, citing worries about possible job losses. He stressed the importance of boosting employment opportunities, pointing out a significant shortage of approximately 22 lakh drivers in the country. He firmly stated that tackling this scarcity could be pivotal in tackling the unemployment issues prevailing in India.
In December 2018, Gadkari was quoted stating that India wouldn’t permit driverless cars. He highlighted the significance of employment in the automobile sector, pointing out that it currently employed around 30 lakh individuals. He stressed the importance of generating more job opportunities in a country with a significantly high population.
In 2017, he expressed the view that India didn’t require driverless cars then. He emphasized the crucial need for electric vehicles. They could significantly reduce pollution and enhance energy efficiency compared to traditional fossil fuel-based cars.