India will not allow driverless cars on its roads, the country’s federal transport minister, Nitin Gadkari,told reporters on Monday.
“How can we allow such vehicles when we already have a huge number of unemployed people” Gadkari asked.
Silicon Valley tech firms are aggressively testing autonomous vehicles in the United States. Last year, a self-driving truck from Otto, a startup that was acquired by Uber,drove a trailer of 2,000 cases of Budweiser more than 120 miles across Colorado. Uber’s rival Waymo, owned by Alphabet, is testing self-driving trucks
too. Meanwhile, Uber, Waymo, GM, Apple and others are testing self driving cars in places like San Francisco, Scottsdale, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
But the technology is far from ready to go mainstream, and Silicon Valley executives haverepeatedly said that India will be one of the last countries to get autonomous vehicles thanks to the country’s poor public infrastructure and erratic traffic conditions.
That hasn’t stopped Indian technology companies from working on autonomous vehicle tech, however. India’s $133 billion Tata Group hasreportedly been testing drivers vehicles outside Bangalore since 2014.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Uber and the Tata Group for comment.