The FBI is concerned that self-driving cars could be used as "lethal weapons"

By Shawn Knight ยท 36 replies
Jul 16, 2014
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  1. There's been plenty of discussion as to the benefits that self-driving vehicles will bestow upon society in the not-too-distant future. The FBI, however, believes driverless cars of the future pose a far greater risk than most of us have likely even...

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    cliffordcooley likes this.
  2. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    These are pretty weak examples.

    There are pros and cons to owning a gun too. A) you kill a bad guy and protect your family or B) your kid gets a hold of it and brings it to school.
    Solution: Use a gun safe.

    Is the FBI saying guns are safer than driver-less cars???
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    Suck it up and get used to it! So can these little quad-choppers as they call them.
    And how would this be different than chasing a car with 4 people (not just 1 but 3 of which are free to shoot back)? I would hate to think the car was actually programmed to drive itself just as wreck-less as the person wanting to get away.
    As if you couldn't find desperate people, willing to transport a package without knowing the contents of what they are carrying.
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,037

    The FBI should be more concerned with senior-drivers, they are the real lethal weapons.
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    +1 drive around town with the indicator left on
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,374   +69

    I wonder why manned car would be any less likely in such a situation. Will they really spend all that money to wreck their car? Moronic.
  7. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    Yes. It's their job to be concerned. I'd be concerned if they weren't. Every new piece of technology is used by criminals in ways that aren't intended. Look at the identity theft that is possible now because of the internet for example.

    That doesn't mean we outlaw it... it just means we have to think about it and figure out ways to prevent and/or deal with the crime.

    Can you imagine the public outcry if people starting committing crimes with self driving cars and law enforcement's response was 'oh, we never thought of that.' ??

    And I'm sure the FBI has thought of plenty of ways to commit crimes with these cars that they aren't going to share with the news.
    gamoniac likes this.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    I'm fairly certain anyone wishing to use a car in this fashion would steal the one they wish to use. You know use a car that can not be traced back to the source.
  9. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +242

    Tell that to Mel Gibson, the real lethal weapon. :)
    ("I was drunk when I did/said it", said Mr. Gibson)

    I dread the day when a criminal awaiting trial claims that he was forced by his self-driving car to do the crimes he was accused of.

  10. Hasbean

    Hasbean TS Booster Posts: 112   +29

    Rubbish! No self-respecting Islamist terrorist would allow it. They'd be inside yelling 'god is great'.
  11. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    Its a good thing the FBI can stop this like they stopped the terrorists from blowing up boston and twin towers... oh wait...

    Seriously now a pen can be used as a lethal weapon the FBI are beyond a joke anyone wanting to use anything as a weapn will and can the FBI are useless at preventing this...
  12. Just wondering: How many people have been killed/injured by accidents and how many by terrorist attacks? Selfdriving cars will make the first number drastically go down, while they probably won't have too much of an impact on the second...

    A car is a weapon - whether it drives itself or not.
  13. Which is more dangerous:

    self-driving car
    depressed and drunken driver on a car?
  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I think you may be missing the point. It isn't about "threat", it's about "threat perception"
    1. Scare up a worst case scenario - publicise.
    2. Create-a-Threat. Magnify any tangential cases where there could possibly be linkage - no matter how tenuous. Maybe some fiction - movie ideally- pitching the worst case scenario.
    3. Public perceive imminent threat (real or more likely, imagined) - legislation and funding follow, maybe something along the lines of "Driverless cars could become a terrorist threat - how about giving us some control over their programming, maybe an override/kill switch....or a black box....or real-time surveillance options". At the very least you could see the DMV getting on board with cars becoming inoperable or driving themselves to impound yards because the owner has outstanding tickets or no insurance.
  15. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    There is endless list of things that can be used as a lethal weapon in the hands of a professional. This shouldn't raise any undue concern.
  16. Could driverless cars recognize chaotic hand gestures of Manhattan policemen? I thought so. Computers will replace all Google programmers long before they will be able to drive in the real world.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    That means computers would be programming themselves how to drive. Did you seriously think about what you said?
  18. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,336   +843

    Depends. Depressed and drunken driver will maybe hit something, maybe not. Self-driving car, if used by terrorists, filled with C4 and targeted at some building, is more dangerous, but if not, then it depends on it's programming.
  19. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I beg your pardon! Not all senior citizens are tarred with the same brush and hopefully you'll live long enough to get old yourself but maybe when and if that happens autonomous cars will be in full swing. That said, I'm not quite at senior citizen age yet but not far off.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  20. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Autonomous cars are without doubt the future so the FBI will have to adapt or die. When the first horseless carriages appeared using self propulsion people said it was a passing fad and will never catch on. An understatement if I ever heard one.
  21. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,037

    Senior might not be the right word. Very elderly people who are flat out walking but still think they can drive. We have all seen them and there are plenty of them. If you think your reflexes will be good enough at 80+ to drive at freeway speeds safely then you must be super human or have amazing genetics ;)

    If I live long enough I wont be driving or at least trying to.
  22. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I'm not that far off either, but seeing what carnage some of the snowcaps get up to locally makes a damn convincing argument for regular and comprehensive re-testing for eligibility for holding a drivers license. Crap like this happens on a fairly regular basis in my country - along with the reversing out of driveways without checking traffic, no/wrong indication, drifting across lanes of traffic, and that's without the comedic aspects. Unfortunately, deteriorating driving skills goes hand in hand with belligerence in a lot of cases.
  23. TheDreams

    TheDreams TS Addict Posts: 631   +68

    In 40 years I'll be at home chillaxin, watching tv. *In other news, Techspot's Steve had quite a time last night as he was driving 92 on interstate 126, as seen by the following footage.*
  24. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Yeah I agree, 80+ is a bit too old to still be driving. In South Africa minibus taxi drivers kill more people than deadly diseases, heart attacks, strokes etc. yet the government and law enforcement do absolutely nothing about it. Some laws exist but the cops do not enforce them because they can make twice their annual salary in bribes.
    Roll on autonomous taxis.
  25. Hottee

    Hottee TS Rookie

    Stop digging the hole.It`s surprising that 'STAFF' lead with a prejudice and don`t do any research.People over 70 are less likely to kill you on the roads than the under 23s.Insurance companies know this.

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