The automobile industry in India is undergoing, what we may call a ‘Mobility Revolution’. Many automobile manufacturers are gearing up for the shift towards electric vehicles as the Government is realigning its road-map for electric vehicles much earlier to what the automobile industry had envisioned. Autonomous driving technology cannot be a far way off.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures released a white paper last year where they had predicted Indian roads to be 40% electric by 2030 and 100% electric by 2047. However, not much has been discussed about the feasibility and the desirability of autonomous driving technology in India.
Investment in Autonomous Driving Technology
Various companies all over the globe are investing heavily on the technology. They are working in the field of autonomous vehicles. There are many start-up companies in India who are intensely working on the research. They are trying to find the best technology suitable for the Indian roads to have driver-free cars or at least partially automated vehicles.
There are many roadblocks the companies working in this domain. A comprehensive study needs to be done order to have the autonomous vehicles running on the roads. One of the biggest challenges that emerge in front of the automobile manufacturers is safety. We are talking about a country where road-safety appears to be a secondary concern among people. The government and the industry would have to ensure the integrity in technology they bring in with autonomous vehicles.
The scenario on the Indian roads is not unknown. The deadly traffic jams, road congestion, and fatal accidents leaves us in two-minds about the driverless technology in India.
For Indian roads to be ready for the technological shift, there needs to be major investments in the infrastructure. The current system does not allow for driver-less in Indian. We will need a huge capital investment to build and strengthen the infrastructure.
Co-existence of human-driven cars and driver-less cars on the Indian roads is also a big challenge.We need to resolve this before the the can think about introducing driver-less cars in the country.
The existence of driver-less cars also raises question about the creation or displacement of jobs. The Indian automobile industry is one of the leading job creators. The introduction of autonomous technology will be a huge concern for the industry as well as the Government.
Currently, the Government’s focus lies on the problem of clean energy, environment and creation of jobs. The introduction of automated vehicles might not be the priority for the Indian government and consequently, the market.
The adoption of autonomous vehicles in India will be gradual, as compared tp other developing nations. Hence, comprehensive policies and extensive research in the technology can bring about the change.