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Ford goes all in on driverless cars, says 2021 will be the big year

Have you been driven by a Ford, lately?

In the race to figure out how people are going to get around in the future, Ford just stepped on the gas. On Tuesday, Ford CEO Mark Fields said the company will be mass producing autonomous, driverless vehicles by 2021. That’s just five years from now, which is like next week in terms of the time it takes to research, develop, build and deploy such a radical new technology. And these won’t be some “adapted” Ford Fusions, either.

Fields told CNBC the as-yet unnamed self-driving car will not have a steering wheel, gas or brake pedals; something that’s known as a “Level Four” autonomous vehicle. Sounds great, but Ford will have stiff competition in the segment from just about everybody. Additionally, Ford is without a rideshare partner at this point, while GM has hooked up with Lyft and Toyota is in tight with Uber. But at least they’re giving it a go, even if no one is going to be at the wheel.

Mix VR with AR and you get Intel’s Project Alloy

Intel is getting into the VR/AR game with Project Alloy, a self-contained computer-in-a-headset that it showed off Tuesday at it’s Developer Forum event. With PC sales slumping and VR starting to take off, Intel looks to be betting big on virtual reality tech with Alloy, which will combine VR with elements of Microsoft’s Hololens Augmented Reality, or AR, in a self-contained headset that isn’t tethered to a PC.

The headset will use Intel’s RealSense technology to “see” the real world and fold it into the VR world inside the headset, so you don’t, you know, bump into the furniture. Or a bus. Not that you’d wear this thing out of doors anyway, but we’re not judging. Alloy will run on Windows Holographic, the OS that powers the Hololens, and the hardware will be released as an open-source system next year for developers who want to get in on the fun.

No, H/P’s new gaming PC is not a giant Rubik’s Cube

If you’ve always been a fan of 70’s horror movies, or the Borg and their avant-garde cubist space ships, good news: you can soon assimilate a new H/P computer called the Omen X to run your collective… or your VR holodeck, at least. H/P announced the new PCs yesterday, and the form factor is… different. The cube-shaped PC sits on a small stand that looks a bit too easy to knock over, but the design does give easy access to the innards, which are VR ready says H/P.

Core i5 or i7 chips run the X and you can choose between Nvidia GTX 1080 or AMD R9 Fury graphics engines, along with the usual storage and RAM options.  Prices start at 1800 bucks, but a basically empty shell of the X will also be available for 600 dollars if you want to kit it all out yourself. Oh, and there’s a laptop version as well, the Omen 17, which HP says will also be VR-capable, but the form factor is a bit less… cubical. That’s it for DT Daily…