FBI concerns leak: self-driving cars could be used as weapons

Jul 16, 2014
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FBI concerns leak: self-driving cars could be used as weapons

A restricted document obtained by The Guardian reveals the FBI's focus on self-driving cars, one that is, naturally, rather pessimistic. The bureau warns that autonomous vehicles can potentially aid in nefarious activities, including functioning as someone's combination get away car and driver.

Self-driving cars, an idea that has existed for a long time and a technological reality that has come upon us via Google and other big players, will no doubt revolutionize the road. Drunk driving will eventually become a thing of the past. Issues with speeding will dwindle quickly. In theory, the number of road crashes will nosedive.

But with them will also come a new set of problems that law enforcement and government agencies will have to address. One such issue is the aforementioned getaway car that can also double as the getaway driver. Self-driving cars will allow ne'er-do-wells to use both hands while the car drives to their location. Eyes will no longer have to be on the road.

A high-speed chase in an autonomous car could leave suspects free to shoot at law enforcement pursuing them. In more frightening situations, a self-driving car could be turned into a human-free suicide bomber, making them what the FBI refers to as "lethal weapons". Someone could, in theory, override the car's safety controls to make it perform in ways different than normal.

Of course, the FBI notes there are many positive benefits for self-driving cars, and among them being tailing cars. "Surveillance will be made more effective and easier, with less of a chance that a patrol car will lose sight of a target vehicle," says the document.

SOURCE: The Guardian


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