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Autonomous vehicles, what are they? What are the challenges and when can we expect them in India?

The Indian roads present many challenges for motoring and to make an autonomous car safe, developers need to make it as smart as humans or maybe even smarter.

The Delhi traffic or as a matter of fact the traffic anywhere in India is bizarre. With such unruly driving on our roads, for a driver less car to work well, there definitely needs a whole new level of smartness. In western countries, the traffic rules are followed and signals are obeyed whereas here in India, it’s anything but that.

Now, this kind of driving, or rowdy driving as we call it locally isn’t the only problem that Indian cities deal with. Barriers to the introduction of driverless car are many in India like

●   Nonexistent road marking

●   Potholes and poorly maintained roads and footpaths Other than the above issues, the government’s unwillingness to allow it as it can lead to thousands of people employed as drivers jobless.

Benefits and Challenges

The possible benefits of autonomous driving being introduced into India will include the reduction of driver stress, increase in road safety, reduced pollution, and also the possibility of increased road capacity.

This being said, the challenges for a dynamic country like India where there are all sorts of challenges like increased costs along with additional risks such as security and privacy concerns.

Automated cars would need to handle the extreme conditions on the Indian roads, animals on the road, dealing with all the “normal” Indian traffic. But at the end of it, India is a land of billion possibilities with a billion-plus population.

Mahindra has seen a great opportunity here and they have already started towards a culture of innovation through Rise Prize, a US $1m incentive for solutions for driverless cars in India.

User Perspective

Despite all the extreme conditions and the many obstacles to the development of these autonomous cars in India, the willingness of the people to accept the usage of these vehicles since the fear of driving in such traffic situations.

Although there is a lot of skepticism around autonomous vehicles it is slowly increasing in number around the world. The survey conducted in India shows that by 2021 the people in India expect them to be available in mass.

As Mahindra sees working with telematics companies is an important step in making sure there is connectivity between the cars and at the moment India doesn’t have reliable coverage. The slow data is one of the main reasons behind slow vehicle tech.

The great news is that a leading telecom player has stepped in to provide a dedicated M2M platform as more and more connection solutions are worked on, the safer the cars will be, and the closer India will be launching Autonomous vehicles.

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