The Pentagon’s Long Road to an Army of Autonomous Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Defense, once a pioneering incubator for early AV development, is now interacting with top AV startups to imagine the next era of potentially autonomous military vehicles. Though Defense officials signaled to Gizmodo the department’s bullishness on the emerging technology, they’re simultaneously concerned over potential hacking and cybersecurity risks.

Gizmodo joined Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and a group of officials as they observed an autonomous vehicle presentation this week at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park California. When asked about the state of the AV industry immediately following the event, one of Hicks’ Special Assistants spoke positively but said there’s “still some kinks that needed to be worked out.” Foremost among those were concerns around potential hacking and security, the official said.