Look at that self-driving prototype up there. Isn't it cute? The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn't think so.
Criminals could use driverless cars to evade law enforcement, shoot cops from the back of the vehicle, and "conduct tasks that require use of both hands or taking one’s eyes off the road which would be impossible today," according to an internal report obtained by The Guardian. The last concern was outlined in a section called "multitasking."
Another fear is that criminals will pack a driverless car with explosives and program it to drive itself into a target.
Autonomous cars "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," according to the report.
The report was written for the Strategic Issues Group within the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence. It's not all negative. Agents also predicted that driverless cars could make it easier to surveil targets by keeping a lock on the suspect while avoiding detection.
It's unfortunate that advances in consumer technology inevitably benefit criminals; it's also unfortunate that that logic is used to impede advances in consumer technology.
Fearful rhetoric around driverless cars is becoming more common as legislation moves forward in multiple states. In Florida, politicians released an attack ad criticizing a driverless car supporter and implying that the vehicles are dangerous for pedestrians.