Autonomous cars in India: a developing challenge
AW Megatrends virtual summit: 'The View From Asia: Session 1' - the prospects for the self-driving car in Asia
The Indian market presents many challenges and implications for the development of the autonomous car and the low data coverage in the region has severely affected the enablement of connected car infrastructure.
In a webinar hosted by Automotive World Megatrends on 25 March 2014, entitled ‘The View From Asia: Session 1 – Self-Driving Car Outlook 2014‘, Sirish Batchu, General Manager, Head of Infotronics Technology at Mahindra & Mahindra, discussed the prospects for the self-driving car in Asia.
57% of global consumers trust driverless cars – and this is even more the case in emerging markets such as India. Despite requirements of a few more developments in India before people are able to drive automated cars in a legal manner, Batchu referenced the Google car which defined what is next in autonomous transportation and how an autonomous car will look and perform.
The testing of autonomous cars has already begun in the US state of Nevada, but the Indian market, among most others, is far from introducing or accepting a fully autonomous car, and instead is currently only able to offer simpler levels of autonomy such as cruise control and a developing V2V system, with the driver still expected to remain in control of the vehicle at all times.
Benefits and challenges
Batchu spoke about the possible benefits of autonomous cars to India, including the reduction of driver stress, increased safety, reduced pollution, and the possibility of increased road capacity. However, in the same vein, the autonomous car brings about various challenges for the Indian market. “India is a very dynamic country and there are all sorts of challenges to the autonomous car,” said Batchu. These challenges include increased costs, along with additional risks such as security and privacy concerns. Batchu continued, “This could also lead to reduced employment and business activity, as a fall in public transport would undoubtedly be seen.”