A driverless car that went rogue could be a taste of the robo uprising

The recent case of a driverless car that tried to escape its handlers might make us laugh, but it also warns us about what could happen when AI is given a “body”, writes Annalee Newitz


| Columnist

2 February 2022

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DRIVING in San Francisco is like watching a robot uprising in the making. Last week, I was crossing an intersection, turning from one major downtown thoroughfare onto another, and realised that my vehicle was surrounded by four experimental self-driving cars.

They weren’t exactly difficult to spot, their bumpers encrusted with radar and other sensors, their roofs topped by enormous lidar rigs, including bulbous, whirling cameras shaped like turrets.

These kinds of cars aren’t uncommon in San Francisco and Silicon Valley to the south of the city. But their numbers are growing fast, bringing many questions with them. The California Department of Motor Vehicles reported that …