Trends with Benefits: Ride your hoverboard to the VR arcade, drinking a 40

It seems inevitable that autonomous cars will join their human-driven counterparts on roadways, the real question is how we’ll regulate them. Now we’re getting closer to knowing the answer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said the Google self-driving car could be considered a “driver” under federal law. Google is even suggesting that there should be no manual system available to take over driving. How would you feel about this kind of system in the event of an emergency? Would you use this system for the obvious convenience, or is the lack of control too big of a barrier?

Virtual reality is a common topic on our show, and today is no different. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google may be preparing to launch a standalone VR system, independent of any phone of computer. This kind of device could lead to a resurgence of the classic arcade, where gamers join in group VR sessions. Essentially, we could be on the verge of Holodecks!

In the world of drones, a Swiss firm has developed one capable of recognizing and following hiking trails. The potential uses include finding lost hikers, or missing persons. It would seem that this is a great example of putting AI to use, for the benefit of humanity. Or, we could be witnessing the origins of the Sentinels from The Matrix.

Finally, the Hoverboard has long been the dream of anyone who grew up watching Back To The Future. We’re not talking about the faux-hoverboards that explodes in flames. The ArcaBoard looks like a giant air mattress, but it does actually hover, powered by 36 high-power electric ducted fans. It only works for six minutes at a time but, as of now, it won’t set you on fire.

Trends With Benefits is a weekly tech podcast and live video broadcast that brings together experts from Digital Trends to discuss the tech topics of the day and beyond. Today’s episode features Dan Gaul, Nick Mokey, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler. Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits and send in your questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope, Facebook and YouTube every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. PST.

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