India says risk to jobs is too great to allow driverless cars to thrive in the country

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.”

Nitin Gadkari. Image courtesy of Gppande. Featured image courtesy of Steve Lagreca /

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.

Wishing you a futuristic Christmas and a fantastic New Year from team Factor

Factor is taking a break for the Christmas season, but we’ll be returning in January for more futuristic news and features.

Until then, check out our stunning new digital magazine, which is free to read on any device for your future fix.

From the issues of today, to the future of tomorrow and beyond, there’s something for everyone, from flying cars and Richard Stallman on privacy to life in the 22nd century and the space colonies of the future human race. There’s even a look at the Christmas dinners of the future.

And if you’re still looking for presents, check out of bumper futuristic gift guide for ideas to suit every budget.

Merry Christmas, and see you in 2018!

FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the so-called net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service on certain content. The FCC’s net neutrality rules were originally passed in 2015.

Doctors say Haemophilia A trial results are "mind-blowing"

Doctors say the results of a gene therapy trial into haemophilia A, whose suffers don't produce a protein needed to stop bleeding, are "mind-blowing". Thirteen patients given the gene therapy at Barts Health NHS Trust are now off treatment with 11 producing near-normal levels of the protein.

Source: BBC

Scientists use stem cells to make paralysed rat walk again

Scientists have used stem cells from an adult human's mouth to induce spinal cord regeneration in a rat. This effectively created a pathway circumventing the injured area so that instructions from the brain could reach the rest of the body, curing the animal that was previously totally paralysed.

NASA uses AI to find new exoplanet

Researchers have announced the discovery of an eighth planet orbiting the star Kepler-90. The discovery of Kepler 90i was made when researchers on the Kepler planet-hunting telescope teamed up with artificial intelligence specialists at Google to analyse data collected by the space-based observatory.

AI engine AlphaZero's win will "scramble" chess world

Having beaten the world's the highest-rated chess engine Stockfish, world champion chess player Viswanathan Anand believes the AI programme AlphaZero will change the way humans play the game. "We've got a clean start and the implications are very interesting," said Anand.

Source: ESPN

Following criticism, animal shelter fires security robot

A San Francisco animal adoption agency will immediately stop using a controversial security robot. The move comes after the San Francisco SPCA had been criticised for its deployment of a Knightscope K9 to mitigate vandalism and the presence of homeless people at its Mission District office.

Source: Ars Technica