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Old 25th July 2017, 13:10   #46
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

There is no doubt that the infrastructure and traffic sense has to improve by several miles before this becomes a reality in India. In addition to this the technology itself also has to improve. When I saw the thread, the first thing I remembered was the Park Assist incident during the Ocatavia press drive. If at this moment the technology can't parallel park, driving would be a different ball game. Not to forget the Volvo and Mercedes examples posted by GTO. I understand the technology would be quite advanced in self driving cars, but i think it still has a long way to go.
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Old 25th July 2017, 13:16   #47
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

Honestly, this is quite a poor move.

India as a country is growing - both in terms of population, but also in terms of being a manufacturing hub.
No one wants to be a driver anymore, and everyone has higher aspirations - and this is where we should focus on skill development instead; and embrace SAFER technology.

There are comments about better infrastructure, erratic drivers, etc. - but lets be honest, it is only becoming worse and not better. Whatever is being planned and built is being built for today's situation but by the time it is implemented - it's already outdated.
Drivers are becoming more reckless and aggressive.

If he wants India to drop out of the list of global road accident statistics - he should push for this, and instead help the drivers who would be jobless find another industry to work in - to be honest, it will not be an overnight transition anyways and if planned properly will work wonders.
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Old 25th July 2017, 13:27   #48
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

With this statement I think the minister is simply pandering to his party's vote bank. He knows that fully autonomous cars are still quite some time away from being available commercially even in developed countries. But he can "promise" his vote bank that their jobs are secure.

Having said that, we all know that autonomous vehicles will be the future. Its very rare that such a huge technological transformation is seen so many years ahead of deployment. So I wish the government instead takes this as a cue to fix issues with road infrastructure like lane markings, abrupt lane closing, etc. At least this way we'll be ready to accept this change as it comes without hiccups. I wish any road that gets built from now on, is done so keeping developed world standards in mind.

Obviously human drivers will be a thing of the past with fully autonomous cars. And this will hit a certain section of people. On the flip side, we'll see significantly better road safety. Imagine being assured that your family will be safe when they travel to work/school/wherever else. Individual productivity will go up because you'll no longer spend 2 hrs driving to work yourself! Goods will get transported much faster across the country because machines can drive 24x7 so trade will improve. Such cars will lead to opening up of yet unforeseen ancillary industries where humans will get employed. So autonomous cars are not all doom and gloom.

In the short term politics may win but in the long term economics trumps politics. Think privatization of various industries, think Uber, think AirBnB. In my view there is a very strong economic argument favouring fully autonomous cars.

Few decades from now humans driving on public roads will be illegal. And they would have to visit race tracks to pursue their "hobby" over weekends.
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Old 25th July 2017, 13:42   #49
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

There are 3 major topics being discussed in this interesting thread

1. Whether Technology is capable of handling Indian road scenarios
2. Whether driver less cars really creates Unemployment problem for taxi drivers segment?
3. Infrastructure readiness in India for Driver less cars
4. Intent of the politician when he made his statement


I do not want to put my views on point 4 here fearing the possibility of infractions I would like to put forth my thoughts on point 1, 2 and 3

1. Technology capability to handle Indian road scenarios.
Definitely, as of today, technology is NOT capable of Indian road scenarios. Even today, when you travel on country side, you can see multiple "cattle" and cattle (I mean literally cattle standing on roads continuously without bothering the vehicles. Also, suddenly, from nowhere, in no time, obstructions are displayed on Windscreen and the driver is expected to brake hard to avoid and multiple accidents happen.

In my view, "Today", technology is not capable of handling such unforeseen scenarios "SAFELY"

2. Driver less cars creates Unemployment problem for taxi drivers segment
While I see multiple posts talking about "Snatching away the employments of Taxi Drivers" is a myth, I do not see any science or a method in any post to prove that this is a myth.

So, the question still remains. How do we prove that driver less cars DO NOT snatch away the employment of taxi drivers? What is the solution to all the taxi drivers who will have no job if all cars become driver less cars?

3. Infrastructure readiness in India for Driver less cars
A. Obstructs on Road: If I imagine National highways and State highways for driver less cars, I get a picture that driver less car can find its way out. But, the moment I start imagining local streets like commercial street in Shivaji nagar OR Avenue Road in Bangalore, where no. of road crossers are more than the vehicles on the road at any given point of time, I start getting it almost impossible for any technology to beat the situation.

B. Just a week back, we have opened a thread in Team BHP on how Google maps or any other maps cheats on less traveled roads(Example: GMap instructs to take right turn while there is NO road on right side. Gmap instructs to go straight while in actual, there is a lake in front of the car) I am sure the thread remains active for another 2-3 years with more than 1000 pages and still goes on basically because, ours is a developing country and roads are still getting formed and changes are bound to happen. With this scenario, imagine a driver less car traveling on such roads. The car just follows Google maps blindly and Google keep instructing wrong paths and imagine the passengers inside

So, with the above three points, In my opinion, the proposal of driver less cars remains still a dream for few more years to come

Last edited by gkveda : 25th July 2017 at 14:08.
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Old 25th July 2017, 14:16   #50
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

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All things apart, i am really doubtful of success for driver-less cars here in India. In traffic like India where people drive in centimeters and millimeters, i see those cars get stuck in traffic for long time.
The present plans being considered by some governments include creating roads/lanes meant for driver-less cars only.

The present technology does not reliably support Level 3 autonomous driving with human-driven cars (as has been seen in many incidents).

As this matures, the problem of co-existence of driver-less and human driven car's cohesion would be solved in parallel.

The current priority for OEMs and Tier1's is to get Level 3 autonomous cars on the streets - on roads dedicated for them.
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Old 25th July 2017, 14:27   #51
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

Leaving the technology aspects aside, I think job losses are a serious issue to contend with, and there is no doubt that a significant number of jobs will be lost. We have seen this in Video rental shops and STD phone booths, as examples.

We easily dismiss this, saying that those people need to "move up the value chain". We can easily sit in front of our computers and call the minister's statements as "outrageous", "silly", etc, mainly because, none of us are really affected. How many of us would be so cool when our own jobs are at stake due to sudden disruptive technologies? Let's be honest!

The fact is, there are millions of people out there in this country who haven't had proper formal education. This could be due to lack of opportunities and schools when they were young, parents who couldn't afford to educate them, etc. Now, they're stuck in a situation where they can neither move up the value chain easily, nor can they afford to lose a job.

Yes, we definitely need to embrace technology. But we must first fix the whole infrastructure, education, skills, subsidies, and other issues causing imbalances in the society, especially in a poor country like ours. The change needs to be gradual, giving the affected people the time to adjust.

This is similar to subsidies that the government is doling out to schools, industries, water, electricity, etc, which all of us are also beneficiaries in some way or the other.

Last edited by PearlJam : 25th July 2017 at 14:43.
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Old 25th July 2017, 14:29   #52
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

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I don't think the analogy applies here. If driverless cars are banned, will people use remote brainlink to hire a robot oversees and steer the car for them?
In manufacturing, if you stop technology, you suddenly find yourself unable to compete with others. But in case of a taxi driver, there is no such problem.
Actually it does. The idea is to introduce efficiency into the system by using technology and the more efficient an enterprise, the more competitive it is. Driverless car would mean it can be driven practically 24x7 without "tiring" the driver and it is a lot safer too. And since the driving is predictable, perhaps less wear and tear too. Think of supply chains managing line haul movements in driverless trucks and automated sorting in the warehouses 24x7. Not only would it make goods cheaper, faster to market but also less waste due to human errors and negligence and better yet no monthly salaries. India will be a little less affected primarily due to dirt cheap labour and an environment which is very tough on sophisticated machines supposed to do these jobs. Automation will be a big leveler so much so that a manufacuring company in USA with USA wages will be more competitive price and quality both than old style manufacturing and distribution done purely using human labour.
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Old 25th July 2017, 14:50   #53
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

My comment is not specifically in relation to the comment by the minister. The main question arising from the discussion above, though not necessarily related to this thread, is whether there has to be some regulation with regards to development and implementation of AI, and in words of Elon Musk Deep AI, which is what a self driving car might be, as it continues to learn and make decisions.

I am a bit neutral towards the development and usage of automation in general, and AI in specific. It has to be accepted that technology has helped in increasing productivity, create jobs as well as standard of living of many across the globe. It is quite normal that any technology would disrupt existing order and the challenge has always been how we, as a society or nation, adapt the change without causing major upheaval or burden. It is here I believe regulation is required. While advances in technology are inevitable, there has to be some regulation on how and where the technology is being used and its impact on the overall society. Imagine a scenario, which isn't a wild dream any more as some factories already do this,where the entire production is automated. What would happen to the labour force which was hitherto employed in that factory?. The bigger the factory the higher the displacement of jobs.

One can easily google the number of jobs that are threatened to be displaced by automation over the next few decades. In a world with ever increasing population, especially in countries like India and China, major job losses could lead to severe social unrest. Obviously every company would target higher profitability which is easier to achieve through automation as it would increase productivity as well as reduce costs, oblivious of the impact on the society. As such it is inherent on the part of governments across the globe to come up with a coherent automation policy, which would balance the advantages of technological advancement as against the present requirements of society. A single nation having such a policy would never work as companies would simply shift manufacturing from that nation.

Now comes another serious question, what and how to go about AI, especially deep AI, as Elon musk calls it. While I am completely out of depth in this subject, once again I believe, there has to be some regulation on how and where to use AI. Unless we have control on AI, things may easily go out of control. It is a given fact that AI would be more smarter than humans, at least majority of them, and as such capable of outmanoeuvring or outwitting or whatever we may call it, the humans. This is not my opinion. As I have made it clear I am completely out of depth to discuss the subject of AI. But many personalities, who are at the forefront of science and computing fear unregulated rise of AI.

Here's a small excerpt from an article

Quote:
Jürgen Schmidhuber, considered to be the father of deep learning, believes that there will be trillions of self-replicating robot factories along our Solar System’s asteroid belt by 2050. He also thinks that robots will eventually explore the galaxy by themselves, motivated by their own curiosity, capable of deciding their own agenda without much human oversight. And, perhaps most disturbing, scientists working with Google’s DeepMind AI tested whether or not AI are more prone to cooperation or competition — and found that it can go either way, and AI are even capable of developing “killer instincts,” or a cooperative mindset, depending on the situation.
and the link to it

https://futurism.com/elon-musk-says-...-for-humanity/

And another which quotes 10 personalities/people who are involved in AI some way or the other.

http://analyticsindiamag.com/10-well...-intelligence/
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Old 25th July 2017, 14:51   #54
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

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Originally Posted by PearlJam View Post
Leaving the technology aspects aside, I think job losses are a serious issue to contend with,
Very well said.

However, I'm pretty sure Mr. Gadkari didn't really care about job losses when he made that statement. Very likely, this is just vote bank politics.

We are not a forward-thinking society so any "disruption" will be as muted as possible; the disruption will happen and yet, we'll barely feel it.

All the stupid decisions that really affect jobs (sun film ban, 500m rule) are taken in haste but the ones that have the potential to take the country forward are diluted to an extent, they lose their meaning.
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Old 25th July 2017, 14:53   #55
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

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Originally Posted by PearlJam View Post
Leaving the technology aspects aside, I think job losses are a serious issue to contend with, and there is no doubt that a significant number of jobs will be lost. We have seen this in Video rental shops and STD phone booths, as examples.
If this technology is not adopted in interest of drivers then doesnt it mean that rest of the population is held at ransom for one set of people? Wouldnt this set an extra ordinary precedence? We have 12-15 yrs to re-skill drivers. Is that such an impossible task?

With autonomous cars since most vehicles will be driven that much more, they will also break down more often needing more car mechanics. Can drivers of today be re-skilled to take up these jobs?

More vehicles running on roads means greater need of various car consumables. So can this translate in to more jobs in manufacturing those consumables? Just like reservations for petrol pump allocation, the govt could mandate certain part of distribution chain for autonomous car parts to be reserved for drivers who lost their jobs. Plus given that India is such a huge market for foreign companies, the govt could mandate local sourcing for parts. Maybe all affected countries in the world will mandate this, so be it.

Can there be more fuel stations opened up along highways to fuel more cars faster?

My point is creative use of public policy to assuage affected drivers by providing assistance is, in my opinion, a better way to handle this situation than having the affected population hold everyone else at ransom.

And no I'm not trying to be insensitive here. Just practical.

Last edited by pratika : 25th July 2017 at 14:55. Reason: Added a sentence
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Old 25th July 2017, 14:55   #56
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

It is unfortunate that we have incompetent luddites parading as ministers.
When every country worth it's salt is planning to move forward and innovate, here we have ministers framing policy that sets our country back.
China (Baidu) is investing in autonomous driving technologies.
So instead of encouraging folks and companies (like the below):
http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india...ng-251373.html

Our ministers bury them with draconian rules. We may as well dismantle all of our factories while we are at it. We would have a lot of employment if we went back to making everything by hand.
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Old 25th July 2017, 15:18   #57
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

Will you travel in a self-driving car?
Will you let your family members travel in a self-driving car?

One accident anywhere in the world is enough to lose trust on the technology.
Self-driving cars are not for the current generation.

Before self-driving cars becomes a reality, pilot-less ships, aircraft, trains or a mining dumper must become common.
As they have less number of environment variables to manage compared to a car on a road.
Will a intercity train with 1000 passengers ever travel without a human at the controls?

My take, self-driving cars may not be commercially successful.

Self-driving cars will act as a proof of technology/platform for many robotic apps of the future.
Like how race-car engineering produced some of the finest technology for the automobile industry.

What do you say?
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Old 25th July 2017, 15:36   #58
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

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Originally Posted by T1000 View Post
Will you travel in a self-driving car?
Will you let your family members travel in a self-driving car?

One accident anywhere in the world is enough to lose trust on the technology.
Self-driving cars are not for the current generation.

Before self-driving cars becomes a reality, pilot-less ships, aircraft, trains or a mining dumper must become common.
As they have less number of environment variables to manage compared to a car on a road.
Will a intercity train with 1000 passengers ever travel without a human at the controls?

...

What do you say?
Would I travel in a fully autonomous car. Absolutely.

Would I let my family? Yes, of course.

If a machine is less likely than humans at making erroneous judgements then its fair game.

FWIW most modern airplanes use computers to fly. So most of us have already trusted machines to keep us safe over oceans.
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Old 25th July 2017, 15:42   #59
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

IMHO, given the current traffic discipline/scenario, it will take more than a human to even code the learning-logic for a driverless-autonomous car in India.
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Old 25th July 2017, 15:51   #60
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Default Re: Transport Minister: Driverless cars won't be allowed in India

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Originally Posted by T1000 View Post
Will you travel in a self-driving car?
Will you let your family members travel in a self-driving car?
I am sure these doubts were in the minds of people who flew for the first time or perhaps someone who used cruise control on a car for the first time until it becomes a second nature after which we forget that the technology is even there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T1000 View Post
One accident anywhere in the world is enough to lose trust on the technology.
Self-driving cars are not for the current generation.
Look at how far phones have come in the last decade. If ten years ago I would have told you that phones will be as powerful as most computers around and will be gps devices, portable music players, run apps just as standalone computers do, portable cameras that you use all the time and even hear you and respond to you, would you have believed me? I simply speak to my phone now to set an alarm and it doesnt amaze me at all. Its second nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T1000 View Post
Before self-driving cars becomes a reality, pilot-less ships, aircraft, trains or a mining dumper must become common.
As they have less number of environment variables to manage compared to a car on a road.
Will a intercity train with 1000 passengers ever travel without a human at the controls?
Aircrafts fly mostly pilot less after they are airborne, changi airport Singapore already moves people between terminals using driverless trains. There will always be use cases where a human being present in the cabin is not too big a deal but that does not mean that technology cannot conquer it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T1000 View Post
My take, self-driving cars may not be commercially successful.
A self driving car does not mean that it has to be self driving all the time. You can drive it when you are in mood. I would love to have a car which can drive me to work everyday and does not cost me a moon (Tesla 3 will make that happen).

Quote:
Originally Posted by T1000 View Post
Self-driving cars will act as a proof of technology/platform for many robotic apps of the future.
Proof of technology is machine learning technologies, self driving car is an application of this technology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T1000 View Post
Like how race-car engineering produced some of the finest technology for the automobile industry.
What do you say?
Most of the advances in the mechanicals of a car trickle down from F1 engineering. You ought to read up more.
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-12691062

Last edited by extreme_torque : 25th July 2017 at 15:52.
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