Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced it will be delivering "thousands" of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo, formerly known as Google's self-driving car project. The cars will be used for Waymo's driverless taxi service; delivery will be in late 2018 and the minivans will be deployed in multiple U.S. cities. SEE ALSO: Can self-driving cars even honk their own horns?
A Tesla sedan slammed into a fire truck on Los Angeles' heavily trafficked 405 freeway, on Monday. Such an incident on this accident-prone highway wouldn't normally be newsworthy, but an official Twitter account for the fire department in question reported the driver was operating in Tesla's autopilot mode. Tesla's autopilot system, however, is still progressing and requires drivers to be prepared to grab the wheel and react to circumstances at all times. "Autopilot is intended for use only with a fully attentive driver." It's unknown whether the Tesla driver was truly negligent while operating in autopilot mode, or if another factor contributed to the accident.
Well, every Black Mirror viewer knew it'd only be a matter of time before we started ranking social class using people's Uber ratings, or wasting our lives in a VR game, or uploading our digital selves to the toilet -- or whatever. But actually, one Black Mirror prediction just became vividly real at CES. And it's more horrifying than all of those combined. Pizza Hut took to Twitter to unveil the state-of-the-art tech that will revolutionize the way the company inserts its cheese-covered cardboard circles into your mouth hole. Its driverless pizza delivery vehicle, the e-Palette developed by Toyota, works eerily similar to the fictional one seen in Black Mirror's "Crocodile" episode.
CES has barely begun and already there's no shortage of pie-in-the-sky electric vehicle concepts. Today, Chinese EV startup Byton unveiled its electric SUV concept, a wannabe Tesla killer that's crammed full of so much tech it would make Elon Musk's head spin. The vehicle, which will allegedly make its official debut sometime in 2019 and will start at $45,000, is overflowing with so many displays and tech industry buzzwords it's hard to know where to begin. For starters, it has a total of four -- yes, four -- different displays, including 49-inch monstrosity that stretches across the entire dash and a smaller panel built right into the steering wheel. Two more tablets sit behind the driver's seat and passenger headrest for the rear passengers.
Toyota is bringing a sleek prototypical autonomous vehicle to this year's 2018 CES tech conference. But the car certainly won't be driving itself there. Similar to many automotive showings at CES, this vehicle, which the Toyota Research Institute calls the "Platform 3.0," is not yet consumer-ready. But it does provide some insight into what some of the first completely self-driving vehicles might look like. Although concealing the vehicle's many sensors and cameras is practically impossible, Toyota seems to have a done an impressive job integrating them into the car's body (it's unclear, of course, how well the systems work).
With a historic net neutrality vote set to take place tomorrow, people across the United States are rightly concerned about the future of the internet. Visions of price-tiered online spaces dancing in their heads, constituents all over the country are reaching out to their elected officials in a likely doomed effort to forestall what many see as the inevitable destruction of our mostly level digital playing field. But tomorrow's vote is about more than whether Comcast can charge you extra for streaming movies on Netflix. Just as the internet has seeped into many unexpected facets of our lives, abandoning net neutrality could have unexpected consequences in places you might not expect. If Elon Musk is correct, driverless cars could soon be everywhere.
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) will likely change the way we get around forever, but the AI that controls them might not be able to tell other cars on the road when they're driving like assholes. Case in point: The City of Las Vegas and AAA's self-driving shuttle, one of the most advanced public autonomous trials in the U.S., was hit by a semi-truck within hours of its maiden trip last month. The Navya Arma bus was stuck between a car behind it and the slowly advancing truck, which backed its way into the the shuttle. The shuttle behaved exactly as it was designed to in the situation, according to a AAA rep -- but it didn't move or, more importantly for the truck driver who might not have seen the vehicle behind it, honk a horn to make its presence known. One of the most essential tools for interpersonal communication between drivers wasn't even in the AI's protocol, which made us wonder: Can self-driving cars even beep?
Ford is changing the focus its self-driving car platform as early as next year. The company says it now plans to focus on features beyond just enabling a computer system to drive from point A to B. SEE ALSO: Lyft's self-driving cars are now on the road in Boston The company's president of global markets Jim Farley wrote about the new developments in a Medium post, in which he emphasized Ford's devotion to the customer as the main concern for its autonomous plans. More specifically, Farley wrote that Ford is dedicated to establishing systems that will prioritize the movement of people and goods, hinting at plans for commercial fleets and ride-hailing services that align with the company's existing deals and partnerships. The automaker's plans include a brand new self-driving vehicle design that eschews the hockey puck-sized LiDAR units mounted near the side-view mirrors seen last December for a less obtrusive roof-mounted sensor unit. Ford will test the new design in an undisclosed city starting next year, according to a report from Reuters.
When fully autonomous vehicles finally hit the road, they'll turn everyone into a passenger. As such, we'll need something to do in order to pass the time while we're riding in our vehicles. Luckily, Intel and Warner Bros. are here to help. Intel and Warner Bros. announced today at the L.A. Auto Show that they're teaming up to develop in-cabin entertainment experiences for cars of the future. Intel CEO announces partnership with Warner Bros. to develop concept of what a self-driving car's entertainment might be #AutoMobilityLA pic.twitter.com/UV3NQ1wfqA