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‘Won’t allow autonomous cars in India as around 80 lakh drivers will lose jobs’: Gadkari

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NEW DELHI : Union Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari has once again asserted he will not allow driverless cars in India, saying that if autonomous vehicles are brought to the country, ‘up to 80 lakh drivers’ would be left unemployed.

The minister, who holds the Road Transport and Highways portfolio in the Narendra Modi government, made the remark while speaking to Business during a recent event hosted by IIM Nagpur.

“I said in the US itself that I will not allow driverless cars in India at any cost. This is because in our country, a large number of people work as drivers….driverless cars will, therefore, snatch their jobs,” said Gadkari.

The senior BJP leader continued: “…such vehicles are appropriate only for countries with small populations. However, if these come here, around 70-80 lakh people will lose their jobs just like that, and that would be another issue.”

Previously, Gadkari has, at least twice, publicly expressed opposition to the idea of having driverless cars in the country, once each in July 2017 and December 2019, and cited the same reason that people working as drivers will become unemployed.

At the IIM Nagpur event, meanwhile, the minister also spoke about the ongoing discussions between the Modi government and Tesla, the Elon Musk-led world’s largest EV manufacturer, about the company possibly opening a factory in India.

“We welcome Tesla. But manufacturing in China, and selling in India, that is not possible. We are open to them manufacturing from here only,” he stated.

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