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Uber buys Otto, will debut Volvo self-driving cars in Pittsburgh

Uber set to become the Uber of self-driving ridesharing – and self-driving semi trucks?

Uber has never made it a secret that it wants self-driving cars to pick you up and get you to your destination in the future, and if a future where it doesn’t have to pay human drivers could get here sooner than later, well, that would be even better. So how long until you can summon a self-driving Uber? How about in the next two weeks.

Uber is planning to roll out a test fleet of self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs in Pittsburgh literally this week or next, according to Bloomberg. No, the modified XC90s won’t ghostride up to your location, there will still be an actual human in the driver’s seat ready to take over if the traffic gets a little bit too complicated for the autonomous systems to handle. At least, for now.

Additionally, Uber has just bought Otto, a maker of self-driving tech that can be adapted to old-fashioned human-guided cars and, yes, trucks. Really big trucks, as in semis, like this one. The Otto deal is a significant move in that it puts Uber in a position to expand its business into a key new area: trucking.

Uber hopes to do for cargo transport what it did for ridesharing, and with the Otto staff full of ex-Google and Apple self-driving car project members, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll do it.

McDonalds feels the burn as Happy Meal fitness bands scald children

Well, that didn’t last long. Just after McDonalds started putting fitness trackers for tykes in their Happy Meals, they’ve taken them back out.

Mcdonald’s intentions seemed to be good: with the Olympics on every night, it seemed like the right time to give kids a fun little device that might get them exercising more… or just exercising at all. Instead, the Kansas City Star reports that an Arkansas mother posted on social media that the Step It device in her kid’s Happy Meal burned his son’s arm after he wore it for less than ten minutes.

Other parents chimed in that their kids were also burned by the battery-powered device, and McDonald’s quickly pulled them from the Happy Meals. Promotional online videos for the device also suddenly disappeared. Don’t feel too bad Ronald, adverse reactions to exercise bands is nothing new, just ask Fitbit and Peak.

Anatomical jokes in 3…2…

Video of the day: Check out the maiden voyage of the Airlander 10, a mashup of a blimp and an airplane that flew yesterday in England. The Airlander is just a tick over 300 feet long, 92 feet wide and 85 feet tall, making it the largest aircraft in the world. Yes, it’s even larger than that big Russian airplane, the Antonov AN-225. The Airlander 10 is filled with helium, but it’s also shaped to add lift like an airplane once it’s under way, extending its range.

The Airlander 10 majestically flew for about half an hour over the English countryside before gently touching back down in a field. Maker Hybrid Air Vehicles claims the unusual aircraft will eventually be able to ferry over 22 tons of cargo, and since it doesn’t need a runway, it could be a godsend for quickly delivering relief supplies to areas hit by natural disasters.

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