In Peter Yates' Bullitt, a small remote-controlled model car with explosives chases Steve McQueen through San Francisco streets - it was too small to be shot at. Eventually Steve McQueen escapes.

The current crop of software-controlled vehicles is life-size. The computer controlled actuators - steering, brakes, acceleration - have full control over the vehicle's motion. There are sensors that strive to provide data to software to understand the environment, and make some reasonable decisions regarding what to do with the actuators.

The price of these control systems is steadily going down.

It is more than obvious that as some point it will become economically feasible to deploy these robots for clandestine purposes - delivering explosives, running people over, etc. If anyone tells you that the system is "secure" or mentions "reliable remote disablement", call them a liar. Hacked software can run the car with explosives to the delivery spot, handset location tracking to find the assassination victim walking on the street (even better, crossing on green light), use your imagination. No need for suicidal activities.

So how does one stop such robot? It's important to understand that these do not need remote control, nor any radio communication whatsoever (including GPS - terrain recognition is sufficient and more accurate), so radio jamming will not work.

In a manned (womanned ?) car, one can shoot the driver. Most unwanted explosive deliveries and pedestrian-mowing rampages are stopped this way. What do you shoot at when there is no driver? Can the police with handguns do anything?

There are two possible futures with low-cost autonomous robots, riding or flying.

The first one is permanent presence of the police with anti-tank and anti-aircraft armament.

The second one is imaginary.

Watch for autonomous cars with sex doll passengers.

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