Push for faster legalization of FSD so cars won't ALLOW THEMSELVES to be used as weapons?

Push for faster legalization of FSD so cars won't ALLOW THEMSELVES to be used as weapons?

Lately, there have been numerous terrorist attacks involving automobiles being intentionally driven into crowds.

I'm wondering if it wouldn't make sense for governments to push for development of a baseline level of sensors, computing and software, such that a car could detect if it was being used in that way, and take whatever steps necessary to avoid injury and loss of innocent lives. Then mandate that this be included in all new cars purchased. Older cars would still be a problem, just as they were when smog control was phased in.

Obviously, this won't automatically grant cars full self driving. At first. But it would certainly create a much more favorable legal and political environment, and spur more investment and research. Plus, cars shipping with this anti-terror hardware and software might just require flipping a switch to turn on FSD as with today's Teslas. I would expect that the incremental cost to asymptotically approach zero.

carlk | August 19, 2017

It's already there. It's called automatic brake system most new cars will have. However like you said terrorists could always get an older car that does not have it.

weluvm3 | August 19, 2017

I doubt an automatic brake system, as currently implemented. would be enough to defeat a determined terrorist, but I'd love to be proven wrong. Anyway, we'd need a consistent standard. And probably the ability to notify the authorities and deactivate the car if truly murderous intent was detected.

And, yeah, they could always use older cars, so incentivise getting them off the road ASAP. Offering free FSD with all cars capable of it would be a good start, wouldn't it? Even if terrorists avoided cars without FSD, they would become increasingly harder to find as time went on, and easily identifiable as such.

Indeed, as some point, cars without the technology could be banned from areas where crowds of people congregate, to minimize the risk. One could imagine that self-driving cars would need to network with each other to optimize traffic flow, so if a car lacked that ability, the driver wouldn't be allowed to pass beyond a certain point.

And, here's a thought: self-driving cars with the ability to communicate with each other and the authorities could report any driver of a "legacy car" that seems to be behaving erratically or dangerously.

I know it kind of sounds a little bit like "big brother", but we put up with pretty intrusive security measures already to avoid, in some cases, even smaller risks.

Shock | August 19, 2017

It's not a bad idea. Since the powers that be are intent on not solving this problem at the root, I guess stuff like this is better than nothing.

Carl Thompson | August 19, 2017

We have all kinds of mandatory safety features on other tools now to keep people from being hurt so it only makes sense. Chainsaws, lawnmowers, nail guns, etc. all have clever mechanisms now to make hurting yourself or others with them much harder than it used to be. It's about time cars caught up.

"Since the powers that be are intent on not solving this problem at the root, I guess stuff like this is better than nothing."

I don't think that's fair. I think almost everyone would love to resolve the problem but there is simply no achievable resolution at this point that wouldn't itself be worse.


weluvm3 | August 19, 2017

Another thought: if you are driving a car with this technology, and you cause injury or damage, even by accident, the car would log the incident and require you to notify the authorities. If you didn't do it, the car would do it for you.

We already require people to have liability insurance. This seems like the logical extension to that.

Mr.Tesla | August 19, 2017

Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, any such measures could be easily defeated by a determined terrorist group.

The sad fact is that we will never be able to fully protect against a person or group that is hellbent on killing others, at least not in a free society.

FSD safety features will only be effective against human error, or perhaps impulsive malice (mental issues or road-rage). That will still save countless lives.

Tesla2018 | August 20, 2017

Can automatic breaking be overridden? What happens if you need to push a stalled car to get it rolling or if in the extremely rare case you are being robbed or carjacked and and the person or their car is in front of your car and you intentionally want to hit them.. I know I have got to stop watching action movies with car chases!

Tropopause | August 20, 2017

Not to mention potentially saving the 1 million lives who die in automobile accidents every year, worldwide.

lilbean | August 20, 2017

I think the terrorist wants to drive the car as he may enjoy watching the pain and suffering he is inflicting.

SpeedyEddy | August 20, 2017

I still don't understand things like this still can happen with Tesla's (so there is an override, or is this just due to (over-) speeding and tesla not being able to correct because of the kinetic energy (not possible to absorb by breaking/deflecting)

KiwiVagabond | August 21, 2017

Not a practical suggestion, A terrorist is just going to tape over the cameras, unplug the radar / ultrasonics etc. Unless you want to mandate that every car stops dead/limits its self to a 10mph crawl with any sensor fault?

samiam | August 22, 2017

I can guarantee you that the first auto drive legislation will require a person to be in the car at all times.