Tech Tent: Sizzling devices, self-driving automobiles and a bizarre social gathering at CES

Tech Tent: Hot gadgets, self-driving cars and a weird party at CES

Yandex founder Arkady Volozh with one of the firm's self-driving cars

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The founding father of Yandex – the “Russian Google” – is pleased with his agency’s progress with self-driving automobiles

It’s the present that tells you the place expertise is heading – and this week on Tech Tent we deliver you all the most well liked devices and the highest developments from CES in Las Vegas.

We discover out in regards to the interactive plank of wooden that might be an interface in your sensible house and the Japanese companion robotic designed to make you fall in love with it.

We focus on 5G, AI and voice-activated gadgets – and attempt to lower by the hype and work out what merchandise unveiled right here can have a long-lasting affect.

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We additionally go for a trip in a self-driving automotive with Arkady Volozh, founding father of Russia’s tech big Yandex. His firm, usually seen as Russia’s equal of Google, began its autonomous car analysis programme simply two years in the past.

However it’s already working a robotic taxi service in Moscow and one other Russian metropolis, simply as Google’s Waymo division has begun a business trip sharing service in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Yandex boss admits that Waymo is the chief on the subject of autonomous driving expertise however as we make our means remarkably easily across the streets of Las Vegas, albeit with a security driver able to take over, he is pleased with the progress his firm has made.

“It took us lower than two years to place this automotive on actual streets,” he says.

And he explains that whereas his first trip in an autonomous car left him feeling that eradicating the security driver would take a decade, he now thinks that his agency is “virtually prepared” to go fully driverless.

Yandex and others pushing the concept the driverless future is sort of right here should first persuade two essential constituencies. Native governments might want to change the foundations of the highway and customers will must be satisfied that the expertise is secure.

The trip sharing agency Lyft has been operating an autonomous automotive service in Las Vegas throughout CES with two engineers on board to observe issues.

Those that have used it report that the service is so environment friendly that it quickly turns into boring – certainly factor – although the BBC’s Dave Lee seen that the again seat grew to become uncomfortably scorching as a result of beneath it sits a beefy pc that powers the autonomous driving expertise.

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Media captionWATCH: Pores and skin printer wipes years out of your face

In recent times, CES has been a greater place than the normal motor exhibits to see the newest improvements from the automotive trade. It is actually the place you’ll encounter excited predictions of the upcoming arrival of the autonomous period.

Away from Las Vegas, nevertheless, I sense a extra sceptical temper about self-driving automobiles, with final 12 months’s deadly accident involving an Uber car elevating all types of questions on how the expertise may be rolled out responsibly.

Our last Tech Tent merchandise is a couple of very bizarre CES social gathering held at a luxurious villa as soon as owned by boxer Mike Tyson.

It was held by promoters of a tech pattern that has been hyped to the heavens over the past couple of years – however which social gathering company struggled to elucidate because the wine flowed and reside music crammed the home. Tune in to the programme to seek out out which “world-changing” expertise fuelled chatter on the do.

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