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FBI says self-driving cars will be good for surveillance, but lethal in the wrong hands

Driverless cars are a “potential lethal weapon,” but could make surveillance “more effective and easier,” the FBI claims in an internal report surfaced by the Guardian.

According to the FBI’s Strategic Issues Group, “Autonomy … will make mobility more efficient but will also open up greater possibilities for dual-use applications and ways for a car to be more of a potential lethal weapon that it is today.”

Risks that the FBI highlighted include the ability for “bad actors” to “conduct tasks that require use of both hands or taking one’s eyes off the road, which would be impossible today.” Other concerns include the potential ability to override safety features and the creation of self-driving bombs, the Guardian writes.

But the FBI is reportedly optimistic about the benefits of driverless cars when it comes to surveillance efforts. According to the Guardian, the report details that “surveillance will be made more effective and easier, with less of a chance that a patrol car will lose sight of a target vehicle.”

The FBI also appears to believe that driverless cars will someday significantly reduce traffic accidents:

The risk that distraction or poor judgement leading to collision that stems from manual operation would be substantially reduced…

Sadly, the Guardian did not release the FBI report in full.

Google’s outlook on autonomous cars is far more optimistic. When announcing its first driverless prototype, Google called it “an important step toward improving road safety and transforming mobility for millions of people.”

More information:

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25 comments
Sun Kim
Sun Kim

I just want traffic flow to be improved. If there were all these self driving cars, they could take up all lanes, break only when necessary and change lanes when you are leaving the freeway.

William Su
William Su

the fbi itself is a potential lethal weapon. Id trust the computer over any human driving

James P
James P

Patrol car, huh?

Self-driving cars will be programmed to obey all traffic laws.

Police patrols will become less necessary.

The American electorate may decide to eliminate police patrols.

Patrols can be abolished by limiting police power to 911 response.

9/11 is, after all, the telephone number for police assistance.

Martin Miller
Martin Miller

if it was the best technology...this government wouldn't be involved...

Jeff Berezny
Jeff Berezny

What!? And regular cars aren't lethal...

Savoy Warren
Savoy Warren

Everything is fear mongering in silly America. Lol

Fdl Lcr
Fdl Lcr

Self driven cars are awesome for inept , scared, non capable drivers, and/or drunk, or high people, anyone who does not enjoy driving. Sure enough terrorist are goin to love it. Sorry that's my humble opinion. Meanwhile in Germany real drivers enjoy no speed limit autobahns...

Ric Sansand
Ric Sansand

Read the first line in the title! Frak you FBI and Frak you Google. I hope this crap gets mired in all kinds of government red tape and obstructionist maneuvering so it take decades before it goes anywhere. I will not be a participant.

Misty Misty
Misty Misty

*facepalm. Science people science. One word Li-Dar

Tibor Sekelj
Tibor Sekelj

ah really, and a car with a driver is not lethal in wrong hands.. (wow such BS)

Joshua Darlington
Joshua Darlington

the information age as such is good for surveillance - including surveillance of the FBI. Perhaps they should be put more time into that aspect of their procedure - manipulative disproportionate punishment of hackers and leakers is retro and short sighted. ... the supply chain will be automated. they need to be prepared for self driving car bombs, drone drive bys, car homicides disguised as glitches, hacked drones swarms etc. maybe they should fund an on going science fiction contest about drone crimes. try and crowd source vulnerabilities before they are exploited.

Kyle Affronti
Kyle Affronti

So sounds like they are prepping to want them for governmental use only and not public. Typical with the best technologies.

Eric Morrow
Eric Morrow

Versus driven cars which are barely lethal at all

Sun Kim
Sun Kim

How so? Drive by shootings require the vehicle to slow down or stop. Why would a self driving car slow down as it is driving down the street?