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India Fears Self-driving Mobility Would Cost Jobs but Policy is Myopic

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Self-driving Cars in India

The Indian government has been heavily gung ho about Electric Vehicles as the ruling party ministers keep bringing some new incentive or policy to support the growth of the EV industry. Though there is no comprehensive plan or structure to push this industry, all the ministries are trying on their own to keep pushing shared and electric mobility. While shared mobility in terms of Uber and Ola is already highly popular in India and growing at a very rapid pace, there has been no development in the self-driving category.

The Indian transport minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari recently said that he would not allow self-driving vehicles in the country as he fears huge job losses. He also cited that bad road conditions were another factor but his statement implied he feared unemployment of the millions of car and truck drivers in the country. While there is no doubt that vehicle drivers would become redundant once self-driving technology takes over, he is missing the fact that India sees hundreds of thousands of traffic-related deaths due to improper driving.

The country could save billions in dollars in lost productivity if self-driving technology takes over. Also, India will not be able to compete effectively with other countries where self-driving drives productivity gains across the spectrum. There is also the case of lost opportunity as entrepreneurs, technology development and jobs would be lost in India as you would have no demand for seld driving mobility.


Image Credit: Science Alert

Job losses will happen due to technology development whether the government likes it or not. The better policy would be to prepare and adapt for disruptive technology changes in the mobility, as well as the other sectors. Mechanical and routine jobs will become redundant over the next 20 years as technology becomes better and more mature in these areas. Some countries are already investing to stay ahead of the curve by supporting entrepreneurs and enabling regulations and policies. India has already missed the bus on electronics, Internet and a number of other industries as firms from foreign countries dominate the technology and equipment in these industries. It cannot miss the bus in the automobile industry which accounts for roughly half of its total industrial production and contributes to more than 7% of the GDP. Short-sighted policies are the last thing that India needs right now


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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