India Bans Driverless Cars Due to Job Threat

Robots are often considered to be threats to jobs worldwide. India feels that driverless cars are one of the biggest threats to local jobs. As a result, India’s government is now contemplating banning driverless cars in the country. 

India Wants Nothing to Do With Driverless Cars

Various countries are vying to become testing grounds for driverless cars. South Korea, the United States, Australia, and Germany are just a few of the nations where the testing of autonomous vehicles is trending. India will likely never be on that list since the country’s government is not too keen on this technology. The country’s transport minister wants to ban driverless cars throughout India moving forward.

As it turns out, this statement had nothing to do with safety concerns whatsoever. Even though one would assume governments are concerned over the current and future safety of driverless vehicles, the transport minister is concerned for an entirely different reason. He feels the rise of self-driving vehicles constitutes a legitimate threat to the local job market.

Most people are well aware of India’s driving industry. We are not just talking about taxis here, but also about delivery and courier services. There is cutthroat competition going on between different service providers, and it is certainly possible that autonomous vehicles would displace many jobs. However, self-driving vehicles are considered to be somewhat safer and better for traffic congestion compared to traditional solutions.

However noble protecting its citizens’ livelihoods may be, it is also possible India’s harsh stance toward driverless vehicles will hurt the country’s market position in the future. Technology often takes away jobs, but it does not mean the technology should be denied. Using this line as an excuse will not work out well for India.

This news is not entirely surprising. And indeed, India is unlikely to be a hotbed of autonomous cars as it is. With its dangerous road infrastructure and chaotic traffic conditions, self-driving cars would never have been introduced in a safe manner. This is not the last we will hear about self-driving cars in India, however. Local company Tata Elxsi has been testing autonomous vehicles on a track designed to resemble local road conditions.

The bigger question is whether or not we will see other countries following India’s example. Self-driving cars are a significant problem since they take jobs away from humans. Taxi drivers all over the world will not be too pleased with these advancements, for obvious reasons. However, autonomous vehicles would allow human drivers to be more productive, as they would have spare time to do other things instead of focusing on traffic conditions.