Google makes self-driving cars an independent business, targets Uber and Lyft

It’s Wednesday, December 16 2015, and if you’re the sort who’d rather not have to deal with a chatty taxi or Uber driver, you’ll be happy to know that you may soon be able to order up a driverless car to get to you to your destination. Broken by Bloomberg news, it turns out Google is going to make its Driverless Car unit a stand-alone business under its Alphabet umbrella sometime next year.

Since Google has done most of its testing in Austin and San Francisco, it is likely the company will start off in one of those cities and keep it to closed-in areas like large business parks and college campuses. Ultimately, though, it is believed Google wants to take on Uber, Lyft, and conventional Taxi services head on. Not literally head-on, but … you know what I mean.

And, hey, since we’re on a Google kick already, let’s keep it rolling with news that the tech giant has introduced a “night light” mode for its Google Play Books app. If you’ve ever tried to read something on your tablet at night, you may have noticed it causes some eye strain. Your body is telling your eyes to sleep, but you’re saying NO! Just one more page of this Janet Evanovich saga, please!

Well, it turns out the reason your eyes are rebelling ties into the reason it’s not a great idea to watch TV when you’re supposed to be going to sleep. The Blue light emitted by display screens disturbs your nighttime resting mojo by messing with your melatonin levels, so the app will slowly filter it out until you’re basking in a gentle amber glow … ahhhhh! The update is now available for both Android and iOS tablets. Sweet dreams, from Google. Who knew?

Finally, anyone catch the republican debate last night? Jeb Bush took on The Donald, Cruz and Rubio attacked each other, and who cares? Was that just the teaser for House of Cards Season 4? Yes, actually, that’s exactly what it was.  Taking advantage of the circus-stlye CNN broadcast last night, Netflix announced the start date for its highly successful original series using a fictional campaign poster for Kevin Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood.

The show will debut on March 4, 2016, and in the meantime, Netflix has set up a website to go along with the campaign, dubbed FU2016, which is really just … I’m sorry that, is just about perfect. Anyone who visits the site can create their own “FU” poster, and that means we’re in for some killer political memes on social media. You can bet on that, though betting on this election seems like a really bad idea. What a mess.

As always you’ll find plenty more on these stories and all the days hottest tech news at That’s it for DT daily today, we’ll see ya again tomorrow.


Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.

Waymo will launch its commercial autonomous ridesharing service in December

Waymo will launch a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in December, according to a new report. As previously discussed by Waymo, the service will operate in specific areas around Phoenix, Arizona.

Study suggests autonomous cars could become red-light districts on wheels

Fully autonomous cars can change the way we commute, but they can also have a far-reaching impact on the tourism industry. Two researchers published a study that outlines how self-driving technology could create a new dimension in tourism.
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