FBI throws a caution flag into the driverless car race, claiming cars could be lethal weapons


The race for leadership in the driverless vehicle market is in top gear with Nissan claiming it will have a car that can handle automated parking on the road in two years.

But a bit of a yellow warning flag has been thrown onto the track with the FBI stating driverless vehicles could be a criminal's dream vehicle and used as a lethal weapon.

Yet whether such federal agency worries will stem what's clearly a hot market remains to be seen. Just days ago former Ford CEO Alan Mulally was hired by Google to help drive its driverless vehicle sector.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said the Japanese automaker wants to be among the leaders to sell vehicles boasting automated driving and will have cars on the road by 2016 that can handle automated parking.

By 2018, Nissan hopes to introduce cars that can change lanes automatically and by 2020, cars that can meander through intersections without a human component.

"You need to be first with very significant features," said Ghosn, who is also CEO of France's Renault SA. "There's always a premium with those who come first."

The hiring of Mulallly has prompted high-profile statements from Google, including one from CEO Larry Page, who showed massive excitement over the grabbing of Mulally and his background in the auto industry.

"Alan brings a wealth of proven business and technology leadership experience. I am so pleased that Alan is now joining Google's board," Page said in the statement.

Mulally himself appears to also be looking forward to getting to work.

"I am honored to serve on the board of a global iconic company that is dedicated to enhancing our lives," Mulally said in a statement. "I look forward to working together with the Google board and management team to continue to deliver their compelling vision."

This could be a major reason why Ghosn and Nissan are speaking out on their own efforts in the driverless sector. With Google now having a car man on its team, it should give backing to efforts to manufacture and create the world's first fully functional automated vehicle.

If Mulally can take Ford from massive losses in 2006 to only four years later seeing solid revenue and profit, Google has the upper hand, but companies appear to recognize this and are looking to get off the ground in a hurry to battle against the search giant.

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