"War for the Planet of the Apes" took down "Spider-Man: Homecoming" at the North American box office, opening with an estimated $56.5 million in ticket sales. But director Matt Reeves' "War for the Planet of the Apes" pulled away thanks to strong reviews for the third installment of the rebooted "Apes" franchise. Five of the top six at the box office ("Apes," ''Homecoming," ''Baby Driver," ''The Big Sick" and "Wonder Woman") boast Rotten Tomatoes rankings of 92 or better, and the sixth ("Despicable Me 3") was largely received as a solid enough family release. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore.
The German government is warning the nation's Tesla owners about the dangers of putting too much trust in their cars' Autopilot system. Reuters reports that the German Transport Ministry has taken the step of sending a letter to all of them as a reminder that they are ultimately responsible for the operation of their vehicles, and that Autopilot is merely an assist system. The feature, which can autonomously maintain the car's speed, brake for obstacles, steer within a lane and even change lanes on command, became a point of controversy after a driver in Florida suffered a fatal crash while using it. An internal report from the German Transport Ministry called it a "considerable traffic hazard," according to Der Spiegel. Since launching it last year, Tesla has modified the way Autopilot operates, in part to prevent its misuse, by restricting how long and at what speeds drivers are able to remove their hands from the wheel.
Obama administration officials are previewing long-awaited guidance that attempts to bring self-driving cars to the nation's roadways safely -- without creating so many roadblocks that the technology can't make it to market quickly. Traditional automakers and tech companies have been testing self-driving prototypes on public roads for several years, with a human in the driver's seat just in case. The results suggest that what once seemed like a technology perpetually over the horizon appears to be fast approaching, especially with car companies announcing a string of investments and acquisitions in recent months. Federal officials have been struggling with how to capitalize on the technology's promised safety benefits -- the cars can react faster than people, but don't drink or get distracted -- while making sure they are ready for widespread use. The new guidance represents their current thinking, which they hope will bring some order to what has been a chaotic rollout so far.
NEW YORK – Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the electric car company is making major improvements to the Autopilot system used by its vehicles, which will dramatically reduce the number and severity of crashes in which they are involved. Sunday's news comes in the wake of a May crash involving a Tesla Model S that was using the semi-autonomous mode at the time. The driver died after crashing into a tractor-trailer. On a conference call with reporters, Musk said he thinks that the improvements, which will roll out globally in the next week or two in the form of a software update, probably would have prevented that crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is investigating the crash, said Sunday that Tesla has provided it with information about the changes to Autopilot, which it will review.