India’s minister for road transport, highways and shipping has said that the country will not support driverless cars as the threat they pose to jobs is too great.
According to Hindustan Times and The Indian Express, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has said that driverless technology will not be allowed in India because of the fear that it will increase unemployment.
“We won’t allow driverless cars in India. I am very clear on this,” said Gadkari.
“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.”
Gadkari went on to say that although driverless technology wasn’t right for India, electric vehicles do have a place within the country.
However, the minister said that he wanted electric vehicles to be made in India and would not be reducing import duty on e-vehicles or their parts.
“I have told chiefs of the auto companies recently that world-class electric vehicles can very well be manufactured in India. They are welcome to make them here under Make in India, we will not reduce the import duties,” said Gadkari.
In 2015, during his visit to the US, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the company’s headquarters in San Jose.
During their meeting, the two discussed how batteries and solar panels could be the future of electricity generation for India, as well as, according to The Indian Express, the possibility of manufacturing affordable cars for India.
It was thought that India could have become a large market for Tesla as well as other driverless cars manufacturers. However, that hope now seems to have been extinguished.
“I saw in Sweden a 70-year-old man was driving a taxi. There, 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,” said Gadkari.