In India, there won’t be any driverless cars: Google CEO Sundar Pichai

In India, there won’t be any driverless cars: Google CEO Sundar Pichai January 5, 2017

After Uber CEO Travis Kalanick recently said that India would be the last place to get the company’s automated cars, now Google CEO Sundar Pichai has also said something on similar lines. Pichai, who is on a short trip to India, while talking to a business newspaper said that India would never have completely automated cars.

“I don’t think for a country like India you are gonna see, as Travis said, completely automated cars. But just like technology assisting humans, we make cars over time so that they are safer, the driving experience is comfortable, and people’s quality of life improves and overall society improves because the cars are shared better. All these are the possibilities I am excited about. I think we will play a role in that”, Pichai told the Economic Times.

Google in a way started the trend of driverless cars earlier this decade when the company started working on the making cars completely autonomou. But in the last couple of years many more firms — most notably Uber, Tesla and Ford — have joined the bandwagon and are working on cars that can go from a place to other without needing any inputs from a driver. However, despite all the progress made in this field, big challenges remain especially in countries like India, where the roads are not well-planned and the traffic is very chaotic.

The India-born Google CEO also reaffirmed Google’s commitment to digitally empower small and medium businesses in India. At a media event in New Delhi on Wednesday, Pichai had said: “The Internet is a powerful equalizer and we are motivated to bring the benefits of information and technology to as many people as possible. Building for everyone and making it available in the hands of as many people is at the heart and core of what we do. And we do this by investing in open ecosystems.”

Google’s CEO has unveiled Digital Unlocked and My Business websites. Digital Unlocked is a training program to empower thousands of Indian SMBs with essential digital skills that will enable them to get online and start using the power of the internet to grow their business while My Business Websites will help businesses to have a rich, mobile optimised digital presence that will be launched later this year.

Commenting on the ongoing demonetisation in the country, Pichai says that he finds it a very bold move and if things go well, it will have a beneficial effect.

Pichai on his second day of the trip is visiting his alma mater IIT Kharagpur. While talking to the students there on Thursday Pichai said that it was important for students to take risks and follow their passions. Sundar Pichai studied metallurgical engineering at IIT Kharagpur in 1993.

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