Drone technology may be the biggest threat to civilized society over the next twenty years
Picture a speeding criminal on the run who discovers a police cruiser behind it with its lights flashing. The driver rolls down the window and gently lets go of a handheld drone capable of going quite fast and firing a gun. While driving, he uses a smartphone to maneuver the camera-equipped drone next to the tire of the police cruiser where it fires a single shot which incapacitates the vehicle.
The police department after dealing with this incident is forced to develop a policy which entails the deployment of drones which can’t fire weapons but are capable of interfering with other drones by knocking into them. After all, few municipalities will be like this one in Texas which is OK arming its drones. I predict most police departments will be concerned about lawsuits resulting from drones killing someone inadvertently.
Criminals will soon realize a single flying gadget won’t help them so much and will be drawn into a drone arms race requiring each side to ramp up their drone numbers in order to win any encounter.
Moreover, once criminals discover the drone is a near-perfect murder weapon, they will start to invest in these devices and subsequently pull off murders without getting caught. Once again, police will have to counter with more drones which are constantly surveilling the air.
Finally, many of the drone-based murders will likely take place as night as these devices have night-vision and humans do not.
Gang and mob warfare will be taken to the next level as drone hits on one group will be retaliated with counter drone attacks and we’ll potentially see drone wars in the streets between sparring groups.
This future which may seem farfetched - is not, as it is possible to develop drones with virtually all of these capabilities today. As battery and drone technology gets better, I am 100% certain virtually all of these scenarios will take place around the world.
Politicians will likely move to outlaw such devices but society will soon realize getting a small lightweight plastic 3D printed gun onto a drone won’t be that difficult to do. In fact, you will likely be able to print out the entire device on your 3D printer. Once you add a battery, some electric motors and bullets, you're good to go.
Assuming these drones have cellular connections on them, they could beam back everything they see to their owner who could pull the trigger at the right time. Alternatively, face recognition could be used to zone in on the target.
Even scarier, once a drone believes it is near its target it could initiate a cell phone call and zone in on the ringer before delivering its payload.
Suicide drones which explode on impact have already been used in war by the US army and adapting them to civilian use is quite easy.
The coming drone-related crime wave could be one of the most dangerous technologies we’ll ever have to deal with as a society.