OPINION: For India, the decision to disallow driverless cars will be a historical blunder

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The other day, India’s Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that his government would not allow driverless cars on the streets as it would take jobs away from millions of drivers. Speaking at an event in Delhi, Gadkari said: “We won’t allow driverless cars in India. I am very clear on this. We won’t allow any technology that takes away jobs. In a country where you have unemployment, you can’t have a technology that ends up taking people’s jobs.”

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of the autonomous cars, and most importantly before performing an autopsy of the minister’s impromptu statements, let’s turn the clock back to the 1980s when India was still a closed market.

After Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi rose to power in 1984, computerisation became one of his most ambitious projects, which he believed would create a digital revolution. As part of the plan, he liberalised the production and import of computers and other electronics. His government was planning to computerise some of the key industries, including banking, but what happened was something India wants to forget forever.

Source: e27 (link opens in a new window)