Islamic State (ISIS) technicians are working to develop a Google-style driverless car that could navigate itself into a crowded area before detonating an explosive device, a NATO security expert has warned. 

ISIS’s research and development department in the terror group’s de facto Syrian capital, Raqqa, is believed to be producing the vehicles at the same time as US Internet giant Google attempts to perfect the same technology. 

b’Representational image | Source: Reuters’

If successful, the invention could prove to be a major headache for security services in Britain and throughout Europe and North America, where self-driving cars are expected to become commonplace, Daily Express reported. 

Thousands of driverless cars are expected to be on Britain’s roads within the next few years and there is a very real prospect jihadis could prey on the new technology to launch attacks in the UK. Jamie Shea, NATO’s deputy assistant secretary general for emerging security threats, said the Islamic extremists were using their bomb making factory in Raqqa to develop the technology.

b’Representational image | Source: Reuters’

He said ISIS was using its “technical expertise” to “play around” with driverless cars in a “worrying” development. Shea said: “We are focusing very much on…Raqqa at the moment, where ISIL [ISIS] has its bomb making factory. “It is not just Google that is producing the autonomous car, ISIS is also trying to do the same.” 

The technology would remove the need for suicide bombers and could help the death cult – also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh – cope with the dramatic drop in its numbers, which has seen its fighting force cut almost in half. The FBI has long argued autonomous cars could be used by criminals as lethal weapons.