Will Robocars fight break-ins by moving or fighting back?


Earlier, I had a break-in in my new car. There's been a rash of them with Teslas. The burglars break the small quarter window at the back so they can reach in and lower the rear seats to check out the trunk. Thieves are bad, but Tesla also could do a better job, particularly in keeping parts on hand, since they told me it would be 4-6 weeks to get a replacement. I found another.

This inspired two articles. The main one, on the Forbes website today, discusses how robocars and other cars of the future might fight car break-ins, in some cases literally. As robots, they can do more than sound alarms, they can move. They can try to escape, or even more, though most of what they might do probably isn't legal.

Read Can Cars Of The Future Fight Back Against Burglary By Moving? on Forbes.com

In addition, I wrote a sidebar on what Tesla could have done a lot better to resolve this problem for their customers


If a human is making the decision of what the car should do, I would think the law would treat it like any other use of force situation. For example, if you drove the thief to the police station, that would not be kidnapping if you had justification for making a citizens arrest (usually okay if the person committed a felony, and burglary of a motor vehicle is probably a felony).

If it's an AI making the decision, the answer might be the same as long as the AI doesn't make a mistake. But if the AI makes a mistake, there are probably going to be consequences.

Something else to consider, especially if it's an AI making the decision (or a human making the decision without sufficient information), is that most states have special rules for child trespassers. Generally they only apply to younger children, but it's conceivable that a young enough child might get injured by one of these systems if the AI isn't smart enough. (What if a 12-year-old accidentally throws a baseball through a window and then reaches in the car to retrieve it?)

It's enough of a risk that a car company probably doesn't want to sell an AI that automatically "fights back" against trespassers.

And my conclusion above is that actually fighting back on its own is out, other than non-injurious things (like super loud alarms, or bad smells.) The gray area for me was the idea of the car attempting, on its own, to simply escape, making all efforts to avoid injury to the burglar, but, due to the burglar's actions, ending up causing harm. Neural networks are actually reasonably decent at telling 12 year old from adult now.

The AI ​​era, it must be an era of nonviolence. The RC will not be owned by anyone. They will be rented for 10 minutes, 1 day, 100 months ... Any RC damaged, will be repaired or recycled, at no cost to the user. Personal items stolen or damaged will be restored in the same way. All RC will have cameras and identification systems. An alert and communication system can be installed, that a millisecond after initiating the theft or damage, the nearby RC films everything around them. The children will quickly learn to say, "Excuse me for the damage, Mr. Car, I am John Smith, 10 years old, East Street number 14. Can I get my ball, please?

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