Filed Under:Technology, Analytics & Data

FBI: Driverless cars are 'lethal weapons,' aid in suspect getaways

A restricted FBI report, uncovered by The Guardian, reveals that driverless cars will impact how law enforcement officers and suspects operate their vehicles.

In the unclassified document, these "lethal weapons" can be programmed to use as getaway vehicles while suspects fire guns at their pursuers, for example. Criminals could override safety features to ignore traffic lights and speed limits, and terrorists could load up these cars with bombs and program them to drive to detonate at specific locations.

On the other hand, autonomous vehicles could be "game-changing" for police officers. 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 report claims. Driverless cars may be programmed to remain a certain distance behind targets to avoid detection.

The U.K. just passed legislation allowing driverless cars on public roads starting in 2015. Stateside, California, Nevada and Florida allow such vehicles to be driven for testing on public roads. Google's driverless cars have traveled more than 300,000 miles in California.

Google told Auto Express that it is too early to reveal safety and security measures in its car.

This presumably reflects fears that the concerns citied in that FBI report may in fact be justified.

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