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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars 435

gurps_npc (621217) writes As per the Guardian, The FBI is concerned about dirverless cars. It discussed issues such as letting criminals shoot while the car drives (silly in my opinion, apparently they haven't heard of "partners" or considered requiring such cars have a police controlled "slow down" command), the use of such vehicles as guided bullets (safeties again should stop this), and loading it with explosives and using it as a guided missile. This last concern is the only one that I considered a real issue, but even that is not significantly more dangerous than loading up a regular van full of explosives with a timer, then setting the timer to explode before you leave the vehicle next to a school, etc.
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

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  • Obviously... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:06PM (#47467945)

    This is obviously a ploy to mandate government tracking on driverless cars, which they'll eventually extend to all cars.

    They want to track all the data, on every citizen, all the time, in flagrant violation of the Fourth Amendment.

  • Re: Here it comes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AvitarX ( 172628 ) <me AT brandywinehundred DOT org> on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:06PM (#47467947) Journal

    They won't even need a button. I highly doubt an automated car will proceed to pilot itself on a high speed chase, or ignore red and blue lights.

    Fbi should go back to consulting their Internet slang dictionary, rather than trying to think.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:11PM (#47467987)

    > Even suicide bombers are being rendered useless.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:11PM (#47467991)

    No, that's silly. After my robocar takes me to work, I should be able to send it back home to pick up my wife so she can run errands.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:12PM (#47467999)

    Automation is killing jobs faster than we've ever imagined. Even suicide bombers are being rendered useless.

    No problem. They can all get jobs with the FBI, and work in the Scare Mongering Department. They are really busy.

  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:12PM (#47468003)
    "Due to this threat, we must have the ability to totally control driverless cars... and cars with drivers... and all electronic devices... and we need to track people in real time for the entirety of their lives..."
  • by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:14PM (#47468013)
    A shootout with an autodrive car. Sure the criminal could have the car driving to a destination while they hang out the window and shoot. Of course, the car would go the legal speed, stop at all lights and stop signs, and generally be much safer than any car driven by a human, much less one shooting or getting shot at.
    Not to mention it will probably have a police override allowing them to remotely either stop it, or redirect it to a place of their choosing. I wouldn't be surprised if it would even tell the police it's intended route and destination if they asked it.
    It will also probably have an emergency responder reaction where if there are sirens from police, fire, or ambulance it pulls over to the side and stops, as that is the law for humans. And as the poster mentioned, a partner could always drive a car so the one riding shotgun could still shoot.

    Using it for bombings. What's so different from sending an autodrive vehicle to someplace with a bomb in it as opposed to sending a regular vehicle with a bomb and then leaving it before it blows, or even having some ignorant stooge drive it for you? After all, it's not like you can make the autodrive violate it's programming and plow through a crowd or into a mall. If you really wanted to do that, you could just rig a normal car up with remote controls. It's not that hard or expensive, they do it a lot on mythbusters, so it's not a strange concept to most people either.

    Of course, the FBI has way too many people that need to deal with technology that really don't understand it in the slightest. Years ago I had to disappoint an FBI agent that I was helping by explaining to him how things really worked. He was getting samples from all the different printers so that they could make a database to identify what printer printed something like they used to do with typewriters. I had to explain to him that the fonts are totally programmable and have no unique characteristics to that printer. Also, that the inks and toners are actually made by only a handful of companies, and are again, not unique to the printer. He was very disappointing with the information.
  • by dpidcoe ( 2606549 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:14PM (#47468015)
    That would remove a huge amount of the utility of driverless cars. Things like having it drop you off at the airport, or let you out at the mall while it finds a place to park, or any other number of other activities that require a bit of preplanning and someone else to drive (and often be inconvenienced for it).
  • by jeIIomizer ( 3670945 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:14PM (#47468019)

    How about stop trying to place restrictions on things just because they could be abused. We're supposed to be 'the land of the free,' for fuck's sake. This is just embarrassing.

  • by Talderas ( 1212466 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:18PM (#47468047)

    I'm pretty sure it's "normal driving mode".

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:21PM (#47468089)

    The future has a bunch of scary possibilities.

    At some point, someone's going to figure out that if they tape a gun to a quadcopter, it becomes a very effective way to kill people - especially if you can afford 50 of them and can do some basic automation (ie. float to these GPS coords, then shoot anything that moves). Defense against this kind of threat is problematic.

    And yeah, a driverless car would be a good base to build some effective weapons on. You're going to get "drive here" for free. "Keep driving a bit, then blow up" is pretty easy to add on to that. And it requires very little personal commitment to be effective, assuming you're competent in dealing with the software.

    The future is full of scary possibilities and it always has been. I am kind of curious about just what changed us from a people that welcomed them to a bunch of gutless wonders too scared to get out of bed.

  • Less. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:25PM (#47468123)

    But seriously, if these are concerns for driverless cars, they are concerns for regular cars too.

    The thing is that an autonomous car would probably be programmed to follow ALL the traffic laws.

    What good is a get-away car that stops at every red/yellow light and yields to pedestrians?

    That's not even going into whether the car would pull to the side of the road and stop when it detected emergency vehicle lights/sirens.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:38PM (#47468245) Journal

    As soon as the industrial revolution made most manual labor jobs safe, we began to value life more. In a time when you lost 3 kids to childhood disease, 2 to farming or machinery accidents, and ended up with 2 or 3 making it to adulthood, you made babies knowing you were going to see a 50%-70% loss rate. Nowadays, you make 2 and you expect them to make it to adulthood unless some major calamity happens.

    Once you expect zero mortality, you begin to covet it. Also, with all the extra free time, people think of all the worst case, outlier scenarios. Most people, I've decided, are inherently evil and untrustworthy. They imagine themselves with all the power of technology, and then figure that's what The Man (TM) intends to do from the start. And then they fear something for it's danger.

  • by Zordak ( 123132 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:51PM (#47468383) Homepage Journal

    I think the more eminent threat is that automated cars are going to result in lots of sex happening on the road.

    Sex is a lot more comfortable on a soft, roomy bed. And I don't want my car to smell like bodily fluids. I'm going to spend the time reading.

  • by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @06:35PM (#47471001)

    You are using the wrong numbers. you can't do a direct comparison of age to accidents, you need to include distance travelled. I would be willing to bet that after 75 the distance driven is only a fraction of the average for 34-44 year olds yet they have as many accidents. but since you didn't include that data what you have is pretty meaningless.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle