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Will Tesla’s autonomous driving technology fix car theft?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 13:16
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There are too many possible benefits to autonomous driving for anyone to fully realize. It is designed for safety and convenience, but the feature reaches much further than that. I’ve never dealt with it, but I imagine that discovering your car has been stolen is one of the most terrifying violations a car owner may feel. Anger, rage, vulnerability, helplessness. My palms are sweaty just thinking about it.

Anti-theft systems do their best to deter and react to these situations but are often overcome. What will autonomous driving bring to the table? Will the cars become unstealable? Are they even stealable now?

On the other side of this topic, some argue that autonomous, computer-based driving, will open the vehicles up to greater risk of hacking. This has, so far, been a relative non-issue. Recent hacking activity on Tesla’s Model S was performed by ‘professional hackers’ and the holes were quickly patched. Even then the outcome would likely have not been theft.

That said, there’s a few reasons where Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Capability could presumably deter traditional vehicle theft.

  • Thieves would be less likely to steal a vehicle if it became common knowledge that autonomous vehicles are actively being tracked and driven by a computer system.
  • Owners to the stolen Tesla could potentially ‘Summon’ the thief directly to them or to a police station.
  • Fear of technology: hearing about the vehicle being equipped with cameras and sensory equipment, a thief may assume their identity is also being captured by the car.
  • How does one ‘drive’ a vehicle if there’s, hypothetically, no steering wheel?

Any other thoughts? Will Tesla vehicles become unstealable?

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