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Why India Won't Be Adopting Self-Driving Technology

By Brian Spaen

Most of the world is embracing the future of autonomous driving. Car manufacturers continue to implement automation features, like Tesla’s Autopilot or Mercedes-Benz’s Distronic Plus. It’s paving the way for higher-level self-driving vehicles, but don’t count India among the countries adopting this technology anytime soon.

Nitin Gadkari, India’s minister of transport and highways, gave no room for discussion on the future of autonomy in a statement on Tuesday: “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.”

India is extra careful about stagnation in the job industry after lowering their unemployment rate. Last August, unemployment nearly hit 10 percent of the population and it ballooned past 11 percent in urban areas. Since then, it’s dropped down to 3.8 percent overall as of last June and continues to fall. Much of that has been due to creating more opportunities in rural areas.