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.
- Sit back, relax, and enjoy a ride through the history of self-driving cars
- Volvo will be at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, but it won’t bring any cars
- Baby, you can’t drive my cube: All the insane self-driving lounges at CES 2019
- How 5G could change your life in 2019, and in the future
- Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant