VW’s Sedric self-driving concept car is a fresh take on the future of transportation

Siri, bring around Sedric

Now that self-driving cars are progressing past the prototype stage, or the adding-tech-to-a-Prius stage, we’re starting to see some interesting design ideas. One of the very first from-scratch robocars was Google’s precious, but curiously unnamed pod-mobile, now sort of known as “that Waymo car.” Faraday Future, if it survives, gave us the Ferrari-esque named FF-91, and now Volkswagen is in the game with a new concept car, named Sedric, with an S.

The concept car was rolled out at the Geneva Auto show, and if it makes you think of a self-driving car from a movie made in 1973, well, we always knew Woody Allen was a genius. Sedric features comfy seating, a giant OLED screen for entertainment and navigation, and no steering wheel, pedals or driver controls of any kind. Sedric is all-electric and is meant to be sort of a “lounge on wheels,” although we thought that’s what that concept VW Microbus was for.

A small remote operates the car and it vibrates so those with impaired vision can use it. This Level-5 fully autonomous vehicle has wifi and every other possible connection convenience, of course. Volkswagen describes Sedric as the “grandfather” of all their self-driving car ideas, meaning it will likely never see production, but some of the ideas could trickle down to models in the near future. Or they could just build it and drive us into the future… right now.

Bad idea! Good idea!

Remember how Google, now Alphabet, made sure to mention that the original Pixel smartphone had a headphone jack, right when Apple courageously said the iPhone 7 would not have one? Uh huh. Well, the Pixel 2 is due out… eventually, and according to 9-to-5 Google, internal development documents indicate it’s going to be missing a certain legacy audio connection. My, how quickly things change.

Why the reversal? 9to5Google says that the Pixel 2 may be waterproof to some degree, and having a big hole in your phone isn’t exactly a good way to seal things up. It could also be a case of competition, as some smaller market Android phones are now forgoing the jack while major phonemakers – except Apple – continue to wrestle with the idea. If the Pixel 2 and future phones from LG and Samsung go jack-less, we won’t be too surprised.

No word on if tinfoil also helps

If there’s been a flaw in the rollout of Nintendo’s Switch gaming system, it’s the often-reported issue of the left Joy-con, or game controller, dropping its Bluetooth connection. Annoying, right? Of course it is. But hackers/modders to the rescue. The folks running the Spawn Wave YouTube channel had had enough of the droppage, and took apart the controller to see if they could remedy the situation. Looks like adding a bit of wire right here fixes the issue.

Now, we should note that soldering irons and steady hands are required for this mod, which Spawn Wave takes about half an hour to explain and cautions people not to try at home. So take it over to that friend who is still building his own tech and have them do it, right? You can check out the whole procedure here and here.

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.

Gaming

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…
Mobile

Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Cars

Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.
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.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook, flying taxis, and Tesla police car

On episode 54 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Caleb Denison discussed Facebook's plan to integrate Instagram, Boeing's experimental flying taxi, and more.
Digital Trends Live

DT Live: Super Bowl hangover, crypto disaster, and an electric plane

On episode 58 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle examined the tech news of the day, including the 2019 Super Bowl commercials, Chip Yates' incredible electric plane, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook Messenger change, GoNation, and more

From new Facebook Messenger features to 5Ge coming to select smartphones, we discussed the latest in tech news on this episode of Digital Trends Live. We also welcomed Chaz Tanase of GoNation and Dan Ferguson of Groove Jones to the show.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Apple versus news industry, Alexa Skills, and the OGarden

On Episode 65 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen broke down the biggest new stories from the world of tech, including Apple's feud with news publishers, the OGarden, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon HQ, Guy Kawasaki, and when to buy a streaming stick

On Thursday's episode of Digital Trends Live, we discussed trending headlines like the latest news surrounding Amazon's new HQ plans to the Mars rover Opportunity. We also sat down with author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki to talk about his…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Oscar visual effects, digital distractions, and more

On episode 72 of Digital Trends Live, we discussed news including the discovery that Google's Nest Secure has a hidden microphone, and welcomed author Brian Solis to the show to talk about his latest book.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: MWC 2019, ezCater, and an Apple streaming service

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we sat down with John Hall of Calendar.com and Briscoe Rodgers of EzCater. We were also joined by DT's Caleb Denison to discuss how Apple is looking to revolutionize TV streaming.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Twitter features, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and more

On episode 77 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Luke Larsen explored the biggest news stories from the world of tech, including the new Star Wars attraction, Twitter's experimental moderation tools, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Save the Internet Act, T. rexes in VR, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, we were joined by Joel Comm of Bad Crypto and Jason Horton of Ghost Town. Later in the show, we joined Jeremy Kaplan on location at the American Museum of Natural History.