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Riding in cars with bots

From CNET Magazine: If self-driving proponents have their say, the most gratifying part of future trips will be kicking up our feet to read a book while our cars automatically take us to our destinations.

We love our cars. They symbolize the freedom of the open road and exhilarate us with their promise of speed and power. But that appeal also comes at the cost of urban gridlock, frustrating commutes and accidents caused by distracted and unsafe driving.

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Automotive technology improves every year -- our cars handle better, draw fuel from the grid before the gas station, weigh less and look sleekly futuristic. And if self-driving proponents have their say, the most gratifying part of future trips will be the moment we kick up our feet to read a book while our cars safely and automatically take us to our destinations.

For the fall issue of CNET Magazine, we examine these beautiful machines and explore the future of driving. Automotive editors Wayne Cunningham and Antuan Goodwin debate the merits of self-driving cars. CNET's Brian Cooley looks into just what carmakers will need to do to convince you to trust your vehicle to do your driving.

CNET's Tim Stevens gets an exclusive tour of the secretive underground lair where Ford designed the latest generation of its supercar, the Ford GT. Not enough automotive voyeurism for you? Alex Goy from CNET's XCAR team tells you what it's like to drive one of the fastest cars on the road, the Bugatti Veyron. Spoiler: You'll be jealous.

But this issue is about more than car tech. TechRepublic's Lyndsey Gilpin offers a fascinating glimpse of the tech involved in the food we eat, from the farm to your fork. And CNET's Nick Statt delves into Microsoft's Halo 5 -- arguably the most anticipated video game of the past few years.

You'll also find out how one Arizona company disguises cell phone towers, get nitty-gritty advice on what to expect from a new generation of dirt-cheap (but surprisingly good) LED light bulbs, and hear about the origins of Silicon Valley culture from the men who worked alongside Steve Jobs. Plus, CNET's Bridget Carey traces the history of the emoji.

As ever, we offer the best tech recommendations for fall, from clever gadgets that cost less than $100 to cameras that shoot professional quality time-lapse video.

Now, sit back and enjoy the ride.

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