The major obstacles to self-driving cars aren’t technological; they’re cultural and legal. The latest example is an Indian car ban, which is a reminder of the concerns that makers of driverless vehicles must address before they can grow the global market.
India has said ‘no’ to putting self-driving cars on its roads. This is a monumental decision because of an apparent divergence between public opinion and government policy.
When IBM spoke with people across 16 countries, it found that three out four people in India were in favor of self-driving cars. According to an earlier survey, nearly 85% said “yes” to the option of using autonomous vehicles.
Why is the government going against what people want with an Indian car ban? India has nearly half of the 20 most polluted cities in the world. One of the promised benefits of self-driving cars is that they would pollute less. Also, with ride sharing, the number of cars on the roads will be reduced.
In fact, in case you missed it, India is looking into allowing private car owners to offer ride sharing as a service. Watch out Uber and Ola Cabs.
Why is India saying no?
The official explanation for the Indian car ban is unemployment. The Modi government fears that self-driving cars will increase the number of people looking for jobs in India.
But there are unstated priorities that are also driving the decision.
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