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Digital Trends Live: Self-driving cars, ocean exploration, and holiday shopping

Wednesday’s episode of Digital Trends Live saw the launch of Waymo’s self-driving car service, a project to explore the deepest points of the world’s oceans, and coverage of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Event in Hawaii. We were also joined by Liz Dunn, CEO of Pro4ma, to talk about consumer and shopping trends during the holidays.

Waymo One is the first service in the U.S. to generate revenue by giving rides in autonomous cars. The service launched today in Phoenix, Arizona and will allow users to request rides from autonomous vehicles, much like they would from competing services like Lyft and Uber.

The service is launching with Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, with plans to add the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV to its fleet soon. The cars aren’t completely driverless yet, and have human drivers on board just in case.

Emerging technologies editor Drew Prindle also joined Greg Nibler on the show to talk about the Five Deeps Expedition, a research project to see the bottom of all five oceans. The submarine used for Five Deeps costs $48 million to build, but will be able to withstand the pressure of the sea floor, which is 800 times the pressure at sea level.

“They know that there is going to be some deep sea life,” Prindle explained. “They know they are going to be down there taking core samples, but beyond that, they don’t really know what to expect.” Wall Street investor Victor Vescovo and scientist Alan Jamieson, the two men heading this mission will be the fourth and fifth people to ever explore the deep ocean.

We were also joined by Liz Dunn, CEO of Pro4ma, to discuss trends in online shopping. While traffic in physical stores has been down over the last 6 years, Dunn explained that online sales are quite strong. Shipping trends and easy access allow us to shop more quickly than ever, including longer into the holiday season.

Digital Trends Live airs at 9 a.m. PT from Monday through Friday, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the DT Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, among other prizes.

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