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CNET Update: Google's self-driving car has no steering wheel

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CNET Update: Google's self-driving car has no steering wheel

2:55 /

If you don't need a driver, then you don't need a steering wheel? Google takes self-driving cars to the next level, Microsoft demos real-time language translation on Skype, and Samsung has a plan to make health-tracking wristbands more useful.

Who needs Oober when Google can give you a ride. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET update. [MUSIC]. Google revealed a new twist on its self driving car project. If a car doesn't need a driver. It also doesn't need a steering wheel or gas pedals. That's the idea with Google's new two-seater prototype. Once you get in, just buckle up and type in your destination on the smartphone app. It will use sensors to safely avoid obstacles in the road. And if at any time there's a problem, well there is an emergency stop button and you can reactivate your trip with a go button. It has plenty of time to judge traffic and avoid obstacles, because it only travels at a max speed of 25 miles an hour, and that's safe but it's not a practical speed limit for everyday use. And it can't go on highways. So for now, you can just think of it as more of a futuristic personal shuttle, to chauffeur you to between buildings on a work campus or university campus. Google would like for you to be able to buy one in three to six years, but there's also the issue of a little thing called laws. The few states that do allow for self-driving cars, require a human behind the wheel to take over in an emergency. It may not look like a very safe car from the outside, and you are putting your life in the hands of a robot that's using Google maps. But hey, it looks like it has a cute little face with a nose and a mouth so that should help ease your fears. Now you won't be able to auto pilot your car anytime soon. But auto translating a video call, well that's another matter. Microsoft will be rolling out a real time language translation feature on Skype by the end of the year, it's called Skype translator. Now there was this live demo on stage during a Rico conference. Where Skype quickly translated a conversation between two people speaking English and German. [FOREIGN] Is it true that you were soon moving to London? We're getting just a bit closer to a Star Trek future. Now, if only Microsoft could make a food replicator. So, Google's working on taking cars to the next level and Microsoft has the next level of video communication. But over at Samsung? It wants to improve health tracking technology. It's working on better sensors that go into wrist band health trackers. And a better way to collect a ton of data about your body and share it with you and doctors. They call their device the SIMBand, but this is not for sale, it's for other companies to build off of. The point is that maybe we can have a wristband that makes real sense about our body's health. Instead of just getting points for how many steps we took in a day. That's your Tech News Update. You can find more details on these stories at cnet.com and be sure to follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]

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