FBI Is Worried Bad Guys Will Use Self Driving Cars As 'Lethal Weapons'

As autonomous vehicles look to become a big part of our future, you can bet that the FBI has exhaustively looked at both its pros and cons. The pros of course are obvious; people could be driven around without effort on their behalf, officers could let the car drive itself while they focus on their PC, and of course, there should be far fewer accidents.

So, what about the downsides? At the forefront, the FBI fears that self-driving cars will make it easier for criminals to get their job done. I'm sure you can envision a slew of scenarios here, but one specifically highlighted is using the cars as getaway vehicles. This is an especially scary thought when you think that a self-driving car would allow a driver to easier deal with a shootout. Yes, this sounds like something from a Hollywood movie, but it's actually something that could happen.

Other scenarios can be even scarier. Picture an autonomous vehicle that has had its safety features overridden (I'm sure there will be protections in place, but... we know how things go). Criminals could then use these cars to cause collisions, or worse, terrorists could use them to deliver a fatal payload to a location of their choice.

On the flipside, the FBI is looking forward to a couple of benefits that these vehicles will bring. For starters, it says that the number of accidents that require first-responders would be reduced, as would be accidents caused by distractions or poor judgement. Nothing's news here, but it's at least good to know that the FBI isn't trying to discredit their use.

Are you personally looking forward to autonomous vehicles, or perhaps even owning one? Or do you envision yourself sticking with manual driving for as long as possible?

Via:  The Guardian
Rosec14 5 months ago

I'm almost embarrassed that I haven't thought of the negative possibilities of a self driving vehicle. It's a good thing we'll have several years before they're available as a mainstream reality and so we'll have time to counter some of the more obvious concerns. And I would be shocked and amazed if there won't extensive legal issues with self driving cars before they're finally accepted as road legal.

thunderdan602 5 months ago

Oh i am sure these will be used in a crime eventually. Just like any other object. I too never gave this thought, but i do now.

TimAitch 5 months ago


JulinRenSilva 5 months ago

Just like it's been happening with unnamed aircraft, right? Oh no, wait, they love those.

TimAitch 5 months ago

I can't wait to see these cars on the road... Think of the fun you could have. Get in front of one and jamb on the brakes; jamb on the brakes again; and again. I sure other possibilities will emerge once you have the actual cars to mess with.

inspector 5 months ago

Maybe they can have a detection where the driver has to be seated and a sensor around the window if something is stuck out it turns off automation or something. Maybe even some awesome face detection that can tell when something is up lol. Pretty sure they will think of something :)

MistedHeart 5 months ago

Honestly dont care, bring us the the self driving cars.

Super Dave 5 months ago

Lawyers are going to have a field day because every self-driving car that gets in an accident has a deep-pocketed corporation behind it. If it gets bad enough the insurance companies might have to slap a huge surcharge on them. I have my doubts that such a product can survive in our litigious society.

kalqlate 5 months ago

Like driving on wet or icy roads, I imagine that there will be some known hazards associated with riding in self-driving cars that we'll all have to agree with by default of getting into the vehicle. That's not to say that there won't be issues traceable to the manufacturer; but much of it will clear manufacturers via limited liability clauses and legislation. Otherwise, as you say, it's questionable whether such a product can survive in our litigious society.

RobertBoone 5 months ago

I personally have a love/hate relationship with technology. I love innovation, but I hate that these newer cars have features to help with certain situations. I'm sure they prevent accidents, but they make people lose common sense. I fear technology will make people stupid. Ever see the movie Demolition Man?

infinityzen1 5 months ago

I'm sticking to manual (and I do mean with a stick) driving for as long as possible. Hate all those little high tech aids. But then, I race road course for a hobby.

inspector 5 months ago

It does suck that more and more manufactures are discontinuing manual :/, but the high tech aids will come in handy when you go on long road trips :).

LongNgo 5 months ago

Really, I mean they can already use the cars we have now as a weapon, it's called running over people.

ThomasTaege 5 months ago

The thought of self-driving cars is really cool, but super terrifying. What if the system fails? Computers are too flawed for this at the moment.

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