What could go wrong? Audi ‘Traffic Jam Pilot’ lets drivers kick back, watch TV

Someday, but maybe not quite today

Here’s a story that sounds like a tech accident waiting to happen. We’ve all heard of Tesla Autopilot feature that will essentially drive your car for you under certain circumstances. Now, it looks like German automaker Audi is taking things a step further with a feature called “traffic jam pilot.” There’s a good band name, right there! Anyway, car enthusiast site Jalopnik reports the feature will essentially do the driving for you up to 37mph.

They say Audi’s promotional pitch of the feature includes suggesting drivers can essentially let the car take over all driving duties under certain circumstances – such as, say, a traffic jam – and drivers can kick back and catch up on Archer episodes on the front infotainment screen. Once the traffic clears up and the car can go faster than 37 miles an hour, the driver will have to hit pause and resume driving.

Audi plans to start rolling out aspects of the autonomous tech next year, but full implementation will come in phases as both car tech and other factors come into play.

Who’s gonna call?

Here’s a story we came across that sounded just a bit too good to be true, but after some checking around, it looks like the real deal.

According to CBS News, law enforcement officials in New Mexico say that an as-yet unspecified smart home device called deputies during a domestic violence situation and that the call may have saved two lives. Deputies say that during the incident, in which a woman was injured, someone said something that caused the homebot to call the sheriff’s department, where a 911 operator heard what was going on and dispatched help.

One suspect with a gun was arrested and the woman and child were reported safe. Details from the case indicate a Google Home device may have made the call, possibly after the suspect told the victim “not to call the sheriff’s office,” which the device may have heard as “call the sheriff’s office” – which it did. If that’s what happened, it could mark the first incident where a smart home hub intervened to alert authorities that a crime was taking place.

Primed to make money

It’s Amazon Prime Day, which has quickly become a sort of “Christmas in July” event for Amazon Prime members, with Jeff Bezos wearing Santa’s hat. Deals abound in everything from TVs, housewares, computers, smartphones, and on and on. We got a bit of a heads up on the deals that were about to hit, so we’ve gone through the list and highlighted the biggest moneysavers by category and if we just thought it was cool stuff.

Prime Day is just that – one day only, today – so check out all the best Prime Day bits, and you’ll have to be a Prime member to get the deals, but that’s pretty much the whole point, isn’t it.

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.