Weekly Tech News Roundup 5/12/2016

If Apple makes a car will it have windows? Netflix pulls the plug and DIY automotive autonomy coming soon.

Four wheels, no buttons and only available in Space Grey, Silver and Rose Gold.

Well, maybe not but you get the idea.

apple_car_logoConfirming long held suspicions within the tech industry, Apple has effectively admitted that the tech giant is interested in investing in the manufacture of autnomous vehicles with a letter to US transport regulators.

The letter goes on to say that self-driving technology stands to deliver significant benefits to society as well asking that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) treats all manufacturers the same. Apple is concerned that new manufacturers might have more hoops to jump through compared to the established builders.

Using machine learning and sharing data between makers, Apple seeks to collect a large silo of information that will go towards forming AI behaviour that will eventually take the wheel by as early as 2021.

For more on this from the BBC, click here.

Netflix unplugged?

netflix-download-1In a move that will please so many subscribers that need to watch their mobile data usage but want to binge while on the go, Netflix has added a download button to its app allowing subscribers to save episodes to watch without blowing their mobile data budget.

All  need now is to have the Netflix Daydream VR app to allow me to catch up on all my nerdy sci-fi while looking awkward with the VR goggles strapped to my dial.

The Next Web has more on this story here.

Tech researcher gives away software and plans for hardware for you to build your own robo-car.

george_hotz_comma_aiSome might recall a story where I talked about George Hotz, a gifted programmer and hardware hacker that has a long history of breaking new ground from being the first to install Linux on a Playstation to jailbreaking the iPhone.

The hacker managed to build a kit that would turn a late model Honda into a fully autonomous vehicle using a OnePlus 3 smartphone and other readily available hardware.

The project was mothballed after the authorities asked questions about the system that Hotz decided he did not want to answer. The project has now evolved into an open source venture allowing people to build the kits themselves for just the cost of parts. Comma.ai aims to own the network of self-driving vehicles that Hotz eventually will dominate the automotive landscape with a head start on other manufacturers.

For the full story head over to ArsTechnica.