A month back union transport minister Nitin Gadkari announced that India is not going to allow autonomous vehicles on its roads, because it will only increase the number of unemployed people. Undoubtedly this announcement from union transport minister’s mouth must be a relief for many drivers, those who earn their living from this profession. But is it even possible for an autonomous vehicle to run on Indian roads?
It is going to be a massive challenge for an autonomous vehicle to be practicable on Indian roads. The first obstacle on the way of an autonomous vehicle is to deal with the unexpected and dangerous events (that don’t happen very often) on road. And on Indian roads you are going to find loads of it. From deep potholes to rowdy fellow drivers, from roadside hawkers to unpredictable pedestrians, and from beggars to unearthly motorists, each of them are potent enough to pose humongous challenges for an autonomous vehicle’s poor little artificial brain.
On Indian roads, how many sensors, and how much data and what kind of super-advanced algorithm will make the AI software inside an autonomous vehicle to get even a slightest idea about what is going on? While autonomous vehicles still trying to understand bicycles in San Francisco and moose in Sweden, kangaroos are giving it a hard time in australia. In Australia a special kind of AI algorithm is required to deal with kangaroos on the road. Kangaroos unlike other quadrupeds, do not look like one. Kangaroos look different depending on what they’re up to. They look different when they are grazing, or hopping or standing. If the AI of an autonomous vehicle find that this tough, imagine how it is going to deal with the messy things on Indian roads.
Rest assured driver brothers in India, no body is going to take your jobs, at least not this stupid AI of an autonomous vehicle.