Report begins to suss out who knew what and when in Waymo/Uber lawsuit

Old sweatshirts, bowling balls, Waymo data drives…

The Uber vs. Waymo self-driving car tech secrets case is heating up. Reports made public yesterday reveal that the central character in the case, engineer Anthony Levandowski, had direct communication with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick – who is currently not CEO – and both knew there were possibly some secrets from Google’s Waymo project literally in Levandowski’s closet.

According to a report prepared by cybersecurity firm Stroz Friedberg as part of Uber’s acquisition of self-driving trucking startup Otto, Levandowski came across some data disks in his home shortly after he left Google’s self-driving car project. He let Kalanick know, and the CEO said he wanted nothing to do with the disks, and to “do what he needed to do,” as in, get rid of them. Levandowski says he took the disks to a shredder, but records of that are… vague.

The report also details a long list of text messages amongst key figures in the case, computer forensics probes that turned up odd findings, key communications with HR and so on, but so far, there seems to be no smoking gun that Uber intentionally ported Google’s tech to their own self-driving car and truck projects. But, the billion-dollar-plus lawsuit is far from over, so stay tuned and check out all the latest updates.

Remember “EVs?” We just call them “cars” now

More car news now. In case you thought this electric car thing was just a passing fad, GM would like you to know it thinks otherwise. According to CEO Mary Barra, two more new EV models will be joining the Chevy Bolt in the next two years, and by 2023 – just about five years from now – Barra says GM will have 20 electric cars in their lineup. Also in the mix: vehicles that run on electricity generated from hydrogen-powered fuel cells.

Why fuel cells? Cars the run on hydrogen fuel cells are essentially zero-emission, just like pure electric cars, except you can gas ‘em up just like a gas powered car. The only byproduct from the process is pure water. GM and Honda have been working on fuel cell cars for years now, and California is constantly expanding their hydrogen filling station infrastructure, so it could be a bridge of sorts to an all-electric future but with the convenience of gas, as it were.

GM isn’t alone in their vision of an electric car lineup: Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, Volkswagen and many Japanese carmakers are all saying the future of driving is electric, so you might want to rethink those long-term oil stock investment plans.

Siri, is there anything good on?

Hey, we’ve got our hands on the new Apple TV 4K streaming box, and DT A/V editor Caleb Denison has been putting it to the test in the luxurious home theater room here at DT HQ.

Best new feature: definitely Siri integration for searching for your favorite shows, along with the 4K resolution update, of course. The new Apple TV also features “high dynamic range” or HDR support for improved picture quality, and the interface is lightning quick. Nit picks? Well, it is $180, which is a whole lot more – nearly double – that what you’ll pay for a competitor, notably Roku’s new top-of-the-line Ultra 4K streamer.

But if you’re a big-time Apple user and want to stay in the garden as it were, what can we say, it just works and very well at that. Check out Caleb’s full review.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.


Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.

Amazon plugs in with $700 million investment in electric pickup company Rivian

Amazon invested $700 million for a minority stake in U.S. all-electric truck maker Rivian, according to a joint release. The announcement follows a Reuters report that GM and Amazon might invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the company.

2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV continue to think inside the box

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of Kia's boxy curiosity. The Soul maintains its signature look, but gets tech and powertrain upgrades. The all-electric Soul EV returns as well.

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Digital Trends Live

Original ‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin Harrington on what he loves about CES

Broadcasting from CES, the hosts of Digital Trends Live had a chance to talk to entrepreneur and original Shark Tank star Kevin Harrington about his love of trade shows and how he invests.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Highlights from day 2 of CES 2019 outline future of tech

In our second day of coverage for the annual tech conference in Las Vegas, Greg Nibler and Maude Garrett welcomed guests from industry leaders like Verizon, Intel, and Microsoft and we went out on the floor to discover new tech.
Digital Trends Live


Digital Trends Live

On the last day of CES, Digital Trends Live hands out awards and more

On the third and final day of CES, the annual tech trade show in Las Vegas, the Digital Trends Live team interviewed guests, dissected all the trends on display at the show, and gave awards to the very best tech.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Motorola flip phone, ads in space, smart umbrella

On this episode of Digital Trends Live we discussed trending headlines like foldable smartphones and advertising in space. We also sat down with Caleb Denison and Ronan Glon to talk about the world of tech post CES 2019.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Netflix price hike, Starsona’s celeb connections, and more

On episode 48 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler, Adrien Warner, and Drew Prindle explored the tech news of the day, including Netflix’s controversial price hike, and an interview with Digital Domain’s Darren Hendler.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: The dark age of streaming, booze delivery, and more

On the latest episode of Digital Trends Live, DT's daily morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Nicole Raney explored the biggest news from the tech world. On this week's episode: A massive data breach, the dark age of streaming, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Oscar nominations, the future of blockchain, and more

From Oscar nominations, to the latest Spotify and Uber features, there was a lot to discuss on this episode of Digital Trends Live. Journalist Rachel Wolfson also joined the show to talk about the future of cryptocurrency.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Double-folding phones, the best gaming laptops, and more

AirPod rumors and the latest news about foldable phones highlight Wednesday's episode of Digital Trends Live. We also sat down with Calvin Iverson to talk about how to travel on a budget and how millennials are changing the travel industry.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Scout, Soraya Darabi, and Joey Ricard

On episode 53 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle discussed the latest in tech news, including Amazon's new delivery drone, CRISPR babies, and more.