Autonomous cars could stop vehicle-ramming terrorism
“Terrorist attacks like the one in New York are a good example of why we need AVs more quickly,” Caleb Watney, technology policy associate at the R Street Institute, tells Inverse.
Right now, any human with bad intentions can use their vehicle to run over pedestrians. This isn’t to say a self-driving car would make such crimes impossible, but it would take a lot more effort to do so, Watney argues.
According to the FBI, “vehicle-ramming offers terrorists with limited access to explosives or weapons an opportunity to conduct a homeland attack with minimal prior training or experience.” Throw in the fact cars aren’t regulated as tightly as guns — at least not in Europe — and attackers can use the car to get away or aid their escape, and it’s easy to see why a vehicle can be such a deadly weapon.
At the end of the day though, Watney says, it’s important to recognize the incentives for manufacturers is to sell innovative cars.