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Trends With Benefits


Feb 12, 2016

On this episode we discuss Google Autonomous Cars, VR Arcades, Drone Sentinels and Hoverboards.

It seems inevitable that autonomous cars will be joining their human counterparts on roadways. How these vehicles will be regulated is being debated right now. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said the Google self-driving car could even be considered a "driver" under federal law.

Google is even suggesting that there should be no manual system available to take over driving. How would you feel about this kind of system in the event of an emergency? Also, would you use this system for the obvious convenience, or is the lack of control too big of a barrier?

Virtual Reality is a common topic on our show and today is no different. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google may be preparing to launch a standalone VR system, independent of any phone of computer. This kind of device could lead to a resurgence of the classic arcade, where gamers join in group VR sessions. Essentially we could be on the verge of Holodecks!

In the world of drones, a Swiss firm has developed one capable of recognizing and following hiking trails. The potential uses include finding lost hikers, or missing persons. It would seem that this is a great example of putting AI to use, for the benefit of humanity. Conversely, we could be witnessing the origins of the Sentinels from The Matrix.

Finally, the Hoverboard has long been the dream of anyone who grew up watching Back To The Future. We're not talking about the faux-Hoverboard that explodes in flames. The ArcaBoard looks like a giant air mattress, but it does actually hover, powered by 36 high-power electric ducted fans. It only works for 6 minutes at a time but, as of now, it won't set you fire. 

Trends With Benefits is a weekly tech podcast and live video broadcast. It brings together experts from Digital Trends to discuss the tech topics of the day and beyond.

Today's episode features Dan Gaul, Nick Mokey, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit digitaltrends.com and send in YOUR questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on Periscope, Facebook and YouTube every Thursday at 2:30pm PST.