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FBI: Self-driving Cars Could Be ‘Lethal Weapons’

lexus-self-driving-advanced-active-safety-research-vehicle-537x367Like any technology, self-driving cars could potentially lead tomore driver convenience – and a lot fewer crashes – but also to some unintended consequences. One of these, according to a recent FBI report, is the potential for criminals and terrorists to abuse autonomous cars to more easily do their dirty work.

In the unclassified but restricted report obtained by British newspaper The Guardian, the FBI said “the risk that distraction or poor judgment leading to collision that stems from manual operation would be substantially reduced” by self-driving cars. And it added that autonomous technology could be approved by the U.S. government within five to seven years.

But while the FBI believes that self-driving cars “will make mobility more efficient,” it said in the report that the technology “will also open up greater possibilities … for a car to be more of a potential lethal weapon.” It predicted that “bad actors will be able to conduct tasks that require use of both hands or taking one’s eyes off the road, which would be impossible today.”

This presumably could range from criminals firing weapons at police in pursuit without the need for a separate getaway driver to terrorists programing self-driving car bombs. But the FBI believes that autonomous cars will also help the good guys and that the technology “will have a high impact on transforming what both law enforcement and its adversaries can operationally do with a car.”

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Head-up Displays Will Soon Get a Dose of Reality

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As more technology comes into the car—from connected services like local search that require accurate input to driver-assist systems that issue a barrage of warnings—drivers will have to process more visual and audible stimuli. And without … [Continue reading]

Tech Feature Spotlight: Honda’s Song by Voice

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Someone from an automaker once told me that most people typically use the voice recognition (VR) system for only a few weeks after buying a new vehicle. Then they stop since the technology doesn’t always work. VR technology has greatly improved … [Continue reading]

Are You Ready to Give Up Driving and Car Ownership to Robots?

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With Google and various automakers developing self-driving cars, it's generally acknowledged that it's just a matter of time before technology will take the wheel from humans to help reduce accidents, traffic, fuel consumption, emissions, and road … [Continue reading]

Self-driving semitruck coming to highways by 2025

The coming of the self-driving car seems inevitable, even if a little scary for some. Now imagine an 18-wheeler next to you on a highway being piloted by computers instead of a human truck driver. Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler thinks this … [Continue reading]