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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the ban-everything dept.

Transportation 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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Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (5, Funny)

intertrode (1564753) | about 3 months ago | (#47467851)

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

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47467979)

I think it would be funny to steal cars and program to circle the Beltway endlessly until they run out of gas. We could see how many we could get going at once. It'd be even better if we could put them into 'Senior Citizen' mode, where they randomly speed up and slow down, and change lanes without signalling.

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (2)

style7711 (535582) | about 3 months ago | (#47468001)

Now that is evil.

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about 3 months ago | (#47468025)

It'd be even better if we could put them into 'Senior Citizen' mode, where they randomly speed up and slow down, and change lanes without signalling.

Also known as 'North Carolina' mode. I live in North Carolina and that is how otherwise normal people drive here. They also drive 75 mph through construction zones.

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (5, Interesting)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 3 months ago | (#47468339)

I've always respected construction zones until I saw the abuse in Alberta. They put their signs up days before they do any work. They put them way too far before the real work. When they're working very close to the road they'll not put signs up at all. It's just a clusterfark. A construction zone sign pretty much means nothing because the construction workers have abused the system so much.

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 3 months ago | (#47468391)

It'd be even better if we could put them into 'Senior Citizen' mode, where they randomly speed up and slow down, and change lanes without signalling.

Also known as 'North Carolina' mode. I live in North Carolina and that is how otherwise normal people drive here. They also drive 75 mph through construction zones.

It'd be even better if we could put them into 'Senior Citizen' mode, where they randomly speed up and slow down, and change lanes without signalling.

Also known as 'North Carolina' mode. I live in North Carolina and that is how otherwise normal people drive here. They also drive 75 mph through construction zones.

If you don't like the way I drive, do yer fancy construction somewhere else! Besides, with those hardhats the workers bounce harmlessly off my windshield.

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (1)

jlv (5619) | about 3 months ago | (#47468027)

I think it would be funny to steal cars and program to circle the Beltway endlessly until they run out of gas. We could see how many we could get going at once. It'd be even better if we could put them into 'Senior Citizen' mode, where they randomly speed up and slow down, and change lanes without signalling.

Randomly speeding up or slowing down, and changing lanes without signalling is called "Massachusetts Mode".

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (3, Insightful)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 months ago | (#47468047)

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

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (4, Informative)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 3 months ago | (#47468373)

Funny joke but most senior citizens are better than average drivers with increasingly lower accident rates until they are over 75.

Here's the fatal accident rate per 100,000 drivers. Notice that after 75, senior drivers revert to being as dangerous as 34-44 year olds but are still not as dangerous as 25-34 year olds and younger.

16 years old 76
17 years old 73
18 years old 78
19 years old 68

19 years old and under 78
20 years old 64
21 years old 66
22 years old 63
23 years old 52
24 years old 44

20 to 24 years old 57
25 to 34 years old 34
35 to 44 years old 29
45 to 54 years old 23
55 to 64 years old 21
65 to 74 years old 19
75 years old and over 29

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47467987)

> Even suicide bombers are being rendered useless.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_missile

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468385)

They are scare mongering so they can take more powers to do whatever they like.

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (4, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | about 3 months ago | (#47468079)

Even suicide bombers are being rendered useless.

It's a matter of cost-cutting. Those virgins every holy warrior gets in the end cost a lot of money and aren't really contributing much to the cause themselves. The holy warriors themselves could unionize, but their union membership is rather short lived by nature. Aside from the membership problems, what exactly would they do? Threaten to blow themselves up? I'd explain into detail on the soon to be introduced JihadBot 3000, but the projects development costs have gone through the roof, and the prototypes have all blown up for some reason.

Pardon my stereotyping...

Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468287)

In other news, religious extremists recruitment efforts have declined by 400%...

Here it comes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47467865)

This is why people outright reject automated anything: it gets co-opted by law enforcement.

Re:Here it comes (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about 3 months ago | (#47467885)

Well, y'know, if the cops can't slow a car down by pushing a button, there are always spike strips...

Re: Here it comes (5, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | about 3 months ago | (#47467947)

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.

Re: Here it comes (4, Informative)

dj245 (732906) | about 3 months ago | (#47468275)

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.

Don't put a kill switch in my car. Kill switches will be hacked and abused. Devices will be sold and marketed to kill a car, even if they are illegal. Just like the MIRT [themirt.com] and all the related devices. Illegal as a $7 bill but assholes still buy them.

Re: Here it comes (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 months ago | (#47468365)

Knives and other cutting implements can be abused by criminals, don't include them in my kitchen!

Re: Here it comes (2)

dj245 (732906) | about 3 months ago | (#47468439)

Knives and other cutting implements can be abused by criminals, don't include them in my kitchen!

That example isn't even close to being equivalent. We're talking about the possibility that which someone can, with relative ease, wirelessly and anonymously deprive me of the use of my property without leaving much of a trace. You seem to be describing the crime of physical breaking and entering, which I would argue is none of those things.

Golly gurps_npc (-1, Flamebait)

fredrated (639554) | about 3 months ago | (#47467881)

Glad you got it all figured out and everyone else is just an idiot.

TSA (2)

horm (2802801) | about 3 months ago | (#47467887)

Obviously the solution is requiring passengers to go through TSA checkpoints before they are able to board or disembark from any driverless car.

But seriously, if these are concerns for driverless cars, they are concerns for regular cars too. It's not improbable to build a working remote-controlled car from any normal model anyways. It's regularly done for stun work, Mythbusters, etc.

Re:TSA (1)

horm (2802801) | about 3 months ago | (#47467935)

"stunt work", even.

Less. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

Re:Less. (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 months ago | (#47468371)

I'd imagine that a good chance of getting away in a getting away car is behaving yourself in traffic, not drawing attention to yourself.

Re:Less. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468407)

You are clearly imagination challenged. You don't use it to get away. You use it to stash all your stolen stuff in, send it 300 miles away, while you take some other route. Let the cops chase you. You've got no incriminating evidence.
you use 10 of them to send explosives to places you aren't going to be. while they're busy responding, you steal whatever.
You fill it full of drugs and send it off somewhere. It's the best drug mule ever, BECAUSE it follows all the laws. Why would it ever get pulled over? The FBI is right. The illegal uses are many and varied.

Re:Less. (1)

spineboy (22918) | about 3 months ago | (#47468423)

And stays in the lane at the speed limit. Talk about an easy cat to PITT manuever, spike, shoot, etc. Is this some sort of backwards psychology by the FBI to get people to be more in favor of these cars?

DSA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47467889)

Driverless Security Agency

Just install another three letter organization, tax the public for the "possible" security blanket, profit!

Logs? (1)

deathcloset (626704) | about 3 months ago | (#47467913)

Covering one's tracks seems like it would be more difficult depending upon the level of logging used by the cars. That would be a benefit to law enforcement. So this is the beginning of another privacy vs. security debate then, eh?

In Iraq? (0)

X10 (186866) | about 3 months ago | (#47467915)

I'm sure that terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and similar countries know what to do with a driverless car they steal. The question is, will the suicide car go to heaven to the 72 virgins? 72 virgin cars? Or what is car heaven?

Re:In Iraq? (5, Funny)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 3 months ago | (#47468023)

Car heaven is where the mechanics are German, the drivers are Italian, and the leather is maintained by a British butler.

Re:In Iraq? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468295)

Italian drivers? You never drove in Italy, don't you?

Re:In Iraq? (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 3 months ago | (#47468395)

Car heaven is where the mechanics are German, the drivers are Italian, and the leather is maintained by a British butler.

In heaven, the lovers are Italian, the cooks are French, the Germans make the cars, the Swiss are the Bankers, and the British are the police.

In hell, the Swiss are the lovers, the Italians make the cars, the French are the bankers, the British are the cooks, and the Germans are the police.

Re:In Iraq? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468031)

Or what is car heaven?

Probably any place without drivers.

don't drive with nobody in it? (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 3 months ago | (#47467939)

If the car would not drive without a passenger, that would solve those concerns. That would mean the car needs to be able to detect the presence of it's passenger, but it already has to detect pedestrians, other vehicles, stop lights, signs ...

If somebody had a need for a fleet of unmanned cars (pizza delivery?), they could get a driverless license just as we already have a driver license. Show an actual reason to be sending cars driving around without people and you're good.

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#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.

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (5, Insightful)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about 3 months ago | (#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).

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 months ago | (#47468357)

Yeppers.

For me, the biggest attraction of a driverless car is that I could go to work, then send it home. Or send it to pick the kids up from school.

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (5, Insightful)

jeIIomizer (3670945) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (2)

charlesj68 (1170655) | about 3 months ago | (#47468113)

It's "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave". If we give up the second half, then the first half needs must go with it.

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (2)

Kkloe (2751395) | about 3 months ago | (#47468129)

land of the free, hahaha, funny that people ever believed that

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (1)

Libertarian_Geek (691416) | about 3 months ago | (#47468147)

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.

Some of us have been saying this type of thing for a large portion of our lives.

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (4, Funny)

smartr (1035324) | about 3 months ago | (#47468119)

Not needing a passenger happens to be one of the more awesome features of driverless cars... People can effectively have valet drop off for wherever they go. Cars can be shared because you're staying put at a given location for a period of a time. Cars can drive themselves to maintenance. Cars can make delivery runs. Sure, it's another attack vector, but so is putting salt in your eyes. The danger is imminent, don't put salt in your eyes. I think the more eminent threat is that automated cars are going to result in lots of sex happening on the road. I mean really, what do you think happens when you put people in a close quarters private 15 minute outing, with a virtual guarantee of no interruptions and no need for any person to be paying attention to what's going on outside of the car?

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (4, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | about 3 months ago | (#47468383)

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.

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 3 months ago | (#47468153)

Brilliant idea. I guess driverless cars that drop people off at the front of the building then park themselves are out of the question. Driverless taxis are out of the question.
Driverless cars that can drive themselves to the maintenance shop are out of the question.

Actually it's not a brilliant idea. It's plain stupid.

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (1)

Kkloe (2751395) | about 3 months ago | (#47468155)

reprogrammed, the thing is that it will probably be able to reprogram a car to either not have that switch or just put a sac of potatoes with some google-eye

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47468309)

Show an actual reason to be sending cars driving around without people and you're good.

I want to send my car in for its scheduled maintenance without me. I want my car to come get me if I'm out someplace and want to part company with whoever I'm with. I want to send my car to pick something up, and the seller will load it into the car for me. There's a good many reasons why I might want to send my self-driving car on a drive.

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 months ago | (#47468419)

I would think part of the problem would be that, whatever checks you put in place, there's the potential to have someone alter the programming. Or someone could find a way to fool whatever detects whether there's a person in the car.

Not that I think this is a good reason not to have driver-less cars. It's kind of dumb to try to uninvent technology just because it might possibly be abused. It doesn't work. However, I endorse the FBI trying to figure out how they can protect against this kind of thing. After all, security is not an absolute. It's just a matter of making it terribly inconvenient to do bad things.

Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 3 months ago | (#47468421)

Also, piling on... there is a lot of benefits to robotic delivery.

Imagine long range trucking where the vehicle didn't need a driver and wasn't subject to driving limits. It would make trucking a lot more competitive against trains.

Obviously... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#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:Obviously... (1)

CimmerianX (2478270) | about 3 months ago | (#47468057)

That's why I'm never giving up my 1970 Mustang.... No tracking and I can still repair it in my garage.

I'd be more concerned with Kids (1)

tommyatomic (924744) | about 3 months ago | (#47467949)

A simple motion and heat sensor should prevent passengerless cars carrying bombs. This would effectively make driverless cars with remote slowdown command easier for LEO's to disable than the drivered variety.

Re:I'd be more concerned with Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468083)

How would the driverless car stop you from hacking that sensor. Cars require keys to start and those systems were bypassed in the past. Same for so called diesel tuning chips that you simply plug in between the ecu and some sensors.

Regulation won't stop them... (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | about 3 months ago | (#47467973)

Honestly, the fact that they are even available for testing means that some criminals will use them, even if they are outlawed.
As to the specific points raised:

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),

Slow down command won't mean a thing when the criminals rip out the necessary parts to make it moot or reprogram it to do something - ignore the command, do the opposite, or even blow up the vehicle.

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.

True, aside from it being a "guided" missile - just set a target in the GPS and off it goes....again, the potential is there and criminals won't allow it to stop just because of a "slow down" or "stop" command. They'll figure out a way to override that before using it.

And again, if they really wanted to do it the technology is already out there and nothing is going to stop them from using it if they really wanted to.

Cars without passengers that are the problem (0)

shipofgold (911683) | about 3 months ago | (#47467993)

I think it is a huge concern.... bad guys that can program *empty cars* to do bad things will become a reality. Giving the police a kill switch may sorta be a solution. But then the police will want to track all the cars which we already argue about.

Free software and open hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47467997)

This is why all the software on driverless cars needs to be free software, and all the hardware needs to be open. You can't trust that companies and the government aren't controlling you and spying on you, otherwise. It's so obvious that they're going to screw up this otherwise great concept.

Obivious FBI is obvious (5, Insightful)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 3 months ago | (#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..."

Re:Obivious FBI is obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468163)

The fact that you are modded 'insightful' says a lot about the average aluminum foil consumption among /. readers...

Re:Obivious FBI is obvious (3, Informative)

Meditato (1613545) | about 3 months ago | (#47468437)

Guess you've never heard of J. Edgar Hoover, then.

Much more dangerous than regular van. (0)

advid.net (595837) | about 3 months ago | (#47468005)

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

I see that much more dangerous because the criminal doesn't have to overcome the fear of getting caught in the vehicle with that load, or getting caught by cameras as he leaves.
And he doesn't have to stop or park somewhere. And he doesn't need any timer, just a remote to command the explosion, whenever he wants, even before target if things don't go as he wishes.

Re:Much more dangerous than regular van. (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 3 months ago | (#47468049)

Yes, because of past car bombings, it's much harder to park a van in front of somewhere sensitive for even a few minutes. There is definitely a "demand", so to speak, for a remote-control van that wouldn't have to park.

Re:Much more dangerous than regular van. (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | about 3 months ago | (#47468115)

I think drug dealers would love driverless cars. No one to arrest. You could say the "owner", but much harder to prove.

Re:Much more dangerous than regular van. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468159)

I see that much more dangerous because the criminal doesn't have to overcome the fear of getting caught in the vehicle with that load, or getting caught by cameras as he leaves.

Getting caught? Leave?

Foreign terrorists WANT to get caught so they can claim responsibility (well after the damage anyway) and suicide bombing is god's gift to the faithful.

It's only the Americans bombing Americans that try to get away without getting caught.

Only because they're stupid. (4, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

Re:Only because they're stupid. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468093)

There should not be a kill switch in automated cars for law enforcement. That should not be the solution

Re:Only because they're stupid. (2)

EvilSS (557649) | about 3 months ago | (#47468303)

There should not be a kill switch in automated cars for law enforcement. That should not be the solution

I disagree, especially in the case of diverless cars that can move about without a driver. As much as we (legitimately) criticize the growing abusive and invasive nature of law enforcement, they do have a legitimate job to do in providing for the public safety. To that end they will need the ability to safely stop a diverless car. There will be legitimate situations where driverless vehicles need to be stopped by police. A protocol needs to be in place that allows the police to signal the vehicle to "pull over" and come to a stop.

Now, that's not to say there shouldn't be limitations to that power. The police should not be able to just shut down every car in a city, for example. There needs to be rules like an officer needs to be in proximity to the vehicle, and the shutdown needs to be targeted to a specific vehicle for a specific reason. This would be analogous to what we have today where we see flashing lights behind us and we pull over. Remote tracking and/or shutdown should not be allowed without the consent of the owner (if the car is stolen for instance) or in response to a legit, life threatening situation such as a kidnapping or hostage situation. And never if the vehicle is under manual control.

Driverless cars? (2)

ionymous (1216224) | about 3 months ago | (#47468021)

You mean ground drones?

Well, uh, yes actually (4, Interesting)

JMZero (449047) | about 3 months ago | (#47468035)

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.

Re:Well, uh, yes actually (3, Insightful)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

Re:Well, uh, yes actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468215)

Or equally gutless wonders who bring semi-automatic rifles to Starbucks...

Re:Well, uh, yes actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468223)

The answer is the Media. They sensationalize this kind of wanton violence and mass killings like the sick criminals are super hero's. This causes all the disturbed individuals sitting at home to think "Hey, I can become a world famous person and all I have to do is kill a bunch of people whom I've never met and don't care at all about"

All we see on the media is doom and gloom, makes us all terrified that this is what's going on in the world.

The Homicide rate is down near 0.00003%, but news media would have you believe that around every corner is someone waiting to kill you. Having this message bombarded day after day causes people to believe it's true, even if it's not rational.

Re:Well, uh, yes actually (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 months ago | (#47468245)

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.

Re:Well, uh, yes actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468173)

If you get to just make shit up and call it 'basic automation' (as if you knew how to do it), then I get to make up that I will have an air-defense system in my backpack that with some 'basic automation' will jam any approaching drones and blind their sensors with my hat-mounted laser. See, the future isn't scary at all.

Well, uh, yes actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468265)

If the FBI got to decide, time would be stopped and all people would be put in prison.

Re:Well, uh, yes actually (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 months ago | (#47468435)

And yeah, a driverless car would be a good base to build some effective weapons on.

In fact, I'd bet that someone in the military is already working on the driverless tank.

FBI crime prediction (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about 3 months ago | (#47468069)

Wow, the FBI is so awesome, they can predict exactly what a criminal is gonna do in advance. How about they actually solve a murder, rape, or kidnapping once in a while? 35% of murders don't get solved .. maybe when they get that number down to like 5% I'll start believing the feds when they say it's gonna rain tomorrow. Meanwhile anything to reduce the 30,000 highway deaths per year will be appreciated. If automated cars are illegal, only the federales will have automated cars with a dummy driver.

Re:FBI crime prediction (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 3 months ago | (#47468193)

How about they actually solve a murder, rape, or kidnapping once in a while? 35% of murders don't get solved

The second sentence contradicts the first. They do solve murders quite often; 65% of the time in fact.

Cellphone cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468087)

This reminds me of the outrage that started to take place when cameras in phones became common, people were using them to take nakked and upskirt pictures without peoples permission... never mind the fact that tiny cameras had been around for decades before they were common in phones.

What will cops do for their Quota? (5, Interesting)

CimmerianX (2478270) | about 3 months ago | (#47468101)

IF everyone is in an automatic car that obeys all traffic laws all the time, will there be no more traffic tickets?

If an auto ca can drop someone off at the airport then drive back home, what will happen to all the long term parking garages?

If an auto car will find it's own parking space, is that the end of valets?

I for one am happy to see all that crap come to an end.

Re:What will cops do for their Quota? (2)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 3 months ago | (#47468361)

You are right, these cars are a looming economic disaster and need to be outlawed immediately. For the children!

We solved this problem a long time ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468109)

They're called trains...

Hack the car (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 3 months ago | (#47468145)

All these comments about "well what if the police have a slow down command" or "what if there are safeties" fails to address the FIRST rule of computer security.

Physical security is the first rule.

if you don't have it then your system is not secure.

Physical security is having actual physical possession of the machine. Well, the criminal might have that. Which means all your safeguards and overrides might be shut off or hacked or bypassed.

If I'm a criminal, I can remote control the car and use it as a surface going drone. I don't even have to be in it. I can go on a car stealing spree and fill a garage with dozens of cars. And then all at once send them out onto the road as wingmen to assist in whatever I want to do. They could set up roadblocks all over town... they could ram police cars. They could shield me from pursuit. They could operate as get away cars.

You could do all sorts of stuff.

Saying "but but we could put in an override" is as ignorant as suggesting that you could stop all malware, internet piracy, child pornography, identity theft, etc with McAffee.

Can you? No? Then shut up, you idea is stupid and so are you.

Autonomous cars are going to be a problem. They might be great... I might own one... I might at some point love them.

BUT they will pose problems that will have to be dealt with and just putting in a safeguard into the OS would HELP but it would not be a panacea.

i'm more concerned about drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468157)

it's ridiculously easy to pilot a drone with a payload pretty much anywhere

They missed the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468189)

Gangs use cars for drive bys. The gangs of the future will still use cars for drive bys, but they wont have any people in them.

Why is it silly? (1)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about 3 months ago | (#47468233)

From the summary:
(silly in my opinion, apparently they haven't heard of "partners" or considered requiring such cars have a police controlled "slow down" command)

Why is that silly? Do we really think crooks will not find some way of overriding the "slow down" command? As for "partners", a computer does not get stressed or feel under pressure when chased by cops and thus will be less likely to make mistakes.

Why is worrying about this silly?

You read it here ... (1)

udippel (562132) | about 3 months ago | (#47468237)

... despite of me being an engineer, and a computer scientist, I am very much scared of the driverless car.
Oh no, not the scare that you can expect from the layperson; the fear of imperfect driverless cars endangering passers-by or drivers-by. Much worse, the dangers that perfect driverless cars constitute are much worse. And the fear of the FBI - far-fetched or not - is only one of many more to come.

A perfect driverless car will have to be programmed to take a pre-mediated decision in case of some accident, injury or even death becoming unavoidable. If you have plenty of spare time on your mind, start pondering about potential situations occurring outside the control of a driverless car. A driverless car cannot stop within abrupt short time. Just one, one only, example: If presented by either hitting a 4-year-old child or an octogenarian; should it take a random selection, or being programmed? If the latter is the case: who is it programmed to kill? Okay, a second example: You are sitting in a driverless car, with 4 of your family. A bus with 12 passengers comes up frontally (driven by an imperfect human driver, I guess). The whole thing on a narrow bridge, if you hit the bus, probabilities are it will slide to the side and tumble into a canyon. How would you think your perfect driverless car ought to be programmed? For the survival of you and your family, or the survival of the 12 people on the bus? Whichever the decision, the perfect driverless car becomes a pragmatic killing machine.

FAIL! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468249)

"then setting the timer to explode before you leave the vehicle next to a school, etc"

Why do you want it to explode before you leave it somewhere? I thought the point was to not die.

dirverless cars? (1)

jolyonr (560227) | about 3 months ago | (#47468267)

I'd be pretty cnocerned about them too.

Nothing to see here. Seriously. (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 3 months ago | (#47468333)

It makes sense the FBI would be concerned about criminals. Isn't this supposed to be their job? This is just an internal report saying 'here are some things to be concerned about' There are also some positive observations about the cars. There is no hysterical demand that the cars be forbidden, or that the FBI have full override, or anything else. Just some observations about how automated cars might affect law enforcement operations. In other words, nothing at all to see here.

Typical /. headline that (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 months ago | (#47468337)

focuses on one part of TFA and draws sensational conclusions. TFA points out the document is form a group in the FBI whose job it is to look at the impact of technology on crime. TFA points out potential good and bad outcomes. It seems to focus on the idea self driving cars “will have a high impact on transforming what both law enforcement and its adversaries can operationally do with a car.” Looking at the impact of technology is an important part of determining how to deal with it in the context of law enforcement; looking to the future and assessing what it may mean is the job of study groups such as prepared this report.

Starting excuses for control early... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47468353)

Got to start early with those excuses for why law enforcement will need (only occasional!) direct access to ever cars automated driving system. For your own good, citizen!

Balance of Crime (1)

rmandevi (2168940) | about 3 months ago | (#47468375)

On the one hand, the criminal acts will be more than counterbalanced by the reduction in DUI activity alone. On the other hand, poverty is good for creating crime--some small percentage of people that get laid off turn to crime for income. That would happen within the ranks of laid-off taxi drivers and truckers just as it does everyplace else.

Clearly, there is only one solution (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 months ago | (#47468381)

The Government Control Over All Autonomous Cars Act. It's a working title, we're trying to come up with a backronym for SAFECAR.

An even bigger problem... (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 3 months ago | (#47468411)

Adults locked in Hot Driverless Cars.

easy (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47468413)

Easy problem to solve.

My car's airbag has an interlock that causes it to shut off when my 6yr old son is in the passangers seat. A similar interlock can be put on the drivers seat. If there's not a living breathing human in the car, it can't "go"

No longer an issue.

Next inane concern the government will try and use to put tracking devices in my car please?

Really? (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 3 months ago | (#47468431)

Really? Those are the big concerns? Here are my concerns. They'll run people and animals over and fail to drive properly in heavy snow or rain or GPS will put them through a farmer's field.

Why... (1)

GoCrazy (1608235) | about 3 months ago | (#47468447)

Why would autonomous cars, ones that are programmed to obey traffic laws, be their first go to?

"I'm going to rob this bank...and then automatically stop at this red light."
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