Was the man who died in an autonomously driving Tesla really watching Harry Potter?

Tesla autopilot involved in Model S crash

May 7, 2016, went down in history as the day the first fatality occurred while a car was autonomously driving, and in a Tesla Model S, no less. The driver, 40 year old Joshua Brown, was known to be quite proud of his Tesla, having posted videos of the car in autonomous mode and praising it for having prevented an accident on an interstate at one point.

Unfortunately, as we’re now learning, the electric vehicle’s image sensor system apparently mistook the bright white side of a tractor trailer as for a super bright sky and failed to apply the brakes as the car careened into the side of the trailer. The truck driver, 62 year old Frank Baressi, told the associated press Brown was watching a Harry Potter video as the accident occurred, apparently unaware there was a problem.

However, Baressi is also quoted as saying he never saw the video, only heard it. And Tesla is quick to point out it isn’t possible to watch a video on the car’s touchscreen. No mention of the movie was made in initial police reports.

A preliminary investigation is being launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine if the Model S has some sort of technological deficiency posing a danger to drivers using the self-driving mode. Tesla and founder Elon Musk have expressed their condolences. The company also points out that Tesla cars have successfully managed to safely travel 130 million miles in autonomous mode to date.

All Apple, all the time

Apple was sure busy making headlines yesterday. In addition to the infrared sensor tech we told you about yesterday, Apple got a lot of press over rumors it is working to acquire rival streaming service, Tidal.

Tidal first became known for its premium sound quality, but it took on a whole new reputation once it was purchased by Jay-Z and a cadre of celebrity musicians hopped on board. Since then, the streaming service has struggled with a revolving door of executives, botched exclusive releases, and other problems. Still, it has managed to maintain a fairly strong subscriber base.

And now Apple wants to gobble it up. If Apple is successful, it will get all of Tidal’s exclusive releases and firmly establish itself as the second largest streaming service, right behind Spotify.

Apple vs. Spotify + Sen. (and possible VP) Elizabeth Warren

And Speaking of Apple vs. Spotify, the mudslinging among those two streamers re-engaged in earnest yesterday as Spotify backed up Senator Elizabeth Warren when the politician said Apple was going out of its way to snuff out the competition.

At the heart of the accusation is the fact that Apple takes a 30% cut of subscriptions made through its devices. To mitigate its losses, Spotify charges an extra $3.00 a month, just for people who sign up through their iPhones, iPads, etc. That’s a big premium, and Spotify says it squelches subscriptions, which is unfortunate if true because all one has to do is sign up for a subscription on their computer instead of through Apple’s App store.

Heck you can even use safari or chrome browsers on the iPhone to get around it. Anyway, the pot shots will continue, and it doesn’t look like Apple has any intention of backing down.

Happy thoughts just before your holiday weekend here in the U.S. Please drive safely.

Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

Ride with Batman, thanks to Intel and Warner Bros.’ car entertainment system

Instead of driving a car yourself in the future, you could kick back and read Batman comics as the vehicle drives you autonomously. That's the concept introduced by a Dark Knight-themed concept car at CES 2019.
Cars

Bosch cautiously moving full-speed ahead with self-driving car tech

The automotive industry's brightest minds are working on making self-driving cars a reality in the not-too-distant future. Digital Trends talked to a self-driving car expert at CES 2019 to gain insight on how the technology is progressing.
Digital Trends Live

USA Today’s Emerging Tech director talks about the future of storytelling

We sat down with Ray Soto, the Director of Emerging Tech for USA Today, to talk about how his team is telling fun and engaging interactive news stories with virtual and augmented reality.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook’s privacy breach, grocery robots, and more

On episode 41 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Caleb Denison broke down the news stories of the day. On the docket: Facebook's privacy scandal, grocery delivery robots, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Bad passwords, a new iPad Mini, and dating with blockchain

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we discussed online security with the worst passwords of the year, and Adryenn Ashley, CEO of blockchain dating app Loly, and chef Sara Woods joined the show.
Digital Trends Live

We talked to Limbitless about giving gaming-themed prosthetic arms to kids

The nonprofit organization Limbitless creates free bionic arms for children to use like they would a traditional arm. Digital Trends talked to Limbitless about its arms and partnerships with game franchises.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Deepak Chopra, record Alexa sales, and data security

"Technology is part of human evolution," Deepak Chopra posited on this episode of DT Live. We also discussed an Alexa outage in Europe, and chatted with Giri Sreenivas of Helm about online security, and with Dominique Courbin from…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: ‘Bandersnatch,’ Brianna Perry, and Origin PC unboxing

On episode 44 of Digital Trends Live, we unboxed three Origin gaming desktops, and welcomed Brianna Perry to the show to talk about her debut album Fortune Cookie, and what it was like meeting musicians like Flo Rida and DJ Khalid as a kid.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Netflix news, visions of CES, and more

On episode 45 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle looked at the most exciting news stories from the world of tech, including the runaway success of Netflix's Bird Box, what to look forward to at CES, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live – CES 2019 – Day 1

On today's episode: While we are for sure going to run down all the hottest and most innovative tech announcements of CES 2019, we're also hosting some amazing guests and panels. From the Impossible Burger and the future of food, to full…