India to issue Licence to Drive Cars, Driverless.
India is pro-actively welcoming driverless cars. The Mininstry of Roads has decided to amend the laws to open Indian roads for driverless cars. The immediate objective is not to give a ‘carte blanche’ to these autonomous cars. It is merely to enable them to operate for testing purposes. Tweaking the laws in advance will help Technology Pioneers / Businesses also move more smoothly. Else our bureaucratic pathways can bewilder users, Artificial Intelligence enabled or not. 🙂
Mixed Views on Development
The media and some of the stakeholders have already expressed caution. They believe the technology is still not fool proof. But makers of these cars continue boasting about the intelligence built into these vehicles.
When the driverless car (read software driving it) encounters something on the road (or in the neighbourhood) it has been programmed for, all is well. All is well, assuming the software is able to differentiate the real from the imaginery. Even in a more ‘orderly’ market (if you excuse navymen shooting immigrants without explicit orders) like the US, we very sadly, do witness owners of driverless cars meeting their very Maker. Musk Elon can possibly say why?
A Typical Indian Street
Assume an Indian street scenario, where the autonomous car can do only one of two things swerve either left or right. One of these options has a child playing or crossing the road. The other has the hoarding of a politican or a lifelike poster of a celebrity vending a brand or even posters adorning our walls. The same improvements in science and technology driving Artificial Intelligence like the driverless car’s software also enable more life-like representations of people. If the software decides the ‘celebrity or politician’ (or rather the image) is more important and knocks down the child?
Why India, Reckless in New York itself.
In a road far removed from a typical Indian one, a driver-less car jumped a red light at a busy intersection in New York much to the dismay of those around. Technology still has a long way to go, to prove itself in surroundings more familiar to its own creators.
Imagine a more oriental scene. A choatic street in Masjid Bunder, Mumbai or its counter part in Cairo, Egypt could drive the driverless car crazy. 🙂 But then it is this same street/s that the driverless car can actually serve us well in.
Part 2 to follow……