A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

A Smart Bomb in Every Garage? Driverless Cars and the Future of Terrorist Attacks


A Smart Bomb in Every Garage? Driverless Cars and the Future of Terrorist Attacks

Abstract: 

Over the four years of the Syrian insurgency, rebel groups have demonstrated extraordinary ingenuity in turning regularly available consumer electronics into crude but effective weaponry.  One of the most striking examples was the “Sham II,” an improvised armored vehicle constructed of armor plate welded to an automobile chassis.  The most ingenious bit of technological improvisation in this vehicle was the primary weapon, a 7.62 millimeter machine gun that was remotely operated via a PlayStation controller from the relative security of the vehicle’s interior.

But what if the rebel group could have used an armored, driverless vehicle as the platform for the Sham II?  Such a weapon would not only provide greater safety for the militants, but could be blown up remotely should the need arise, effectively making it a cruise missile on wheels.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Lewis, Jeffrey W. 2015. "A Smart Bomb in Every Garage? Driverless Cars and the Future of Terrorist Attacks." START (September). https://www.start.umd.edu/news/smart-bomb-every-garage-driverless-cars-and-future-terrorist-attacks

Publication URL: 
Visit Website

Additional Info

Research Area: 
Regions: