GM gets serious about self-driving carsGM has big plans for taking on Google and Tesla. Meanwhile, Amazon has taught Alexa a new trick.
GM is finally getting serious about self-driving cars. I'm Dan Graziano filling in for Bridget Kerry and this is your CNET update. [MUSIC] The big auto makers have had some serious competition coming out of Silicon Valley and it's not just the Google's and the Tesla's of the world. It's smaller companies like Cruise Automation A start up that's been developing self traveling technology for the past three years. The company offers an after market kit that allows owners of certain types of cars to add self driving features for use on the highway. It's similar to that of a Test of model S and you know what they say? If you can't beat them, you may as well buy them. GM on Friday announced that they have acquired Cruise Automation, but it's not interested in selling those after-market kits. Rather, GM is going to use the start-up's technology to jumpstart its own efforts to bring self-driving features to upcoming vehicles. In other news, Amazon's Alexa voice assistant has learned yet another skill, banking. That's right. If you're an Amazon Echo or Fire TV user, you can now sync your Capital One account with the Alexa app. You can then have Alexa check your account balance, tell you when your next credit payment is due, and even authorize her to go ahead and make a payment. It's all done through voice command. Now there is an option to enable a four digit passcode which Alexa will ask you anytime you try to access your account, but if someone was to overhear your passcode well, they too could access your account. So it's not exactly foolproof. But then again voice commands aren't perfect, and earlier this month a few unlucky NPR listeners found that out first hand. The NPR show Listen Up ran a segment on the Echo, and accidentally activated devices in the homes of a few listeners by saying the trigger word Alexa. One listener said that his Echo reset his thermostat to 70 degrees, while another simply explained that his device started going crazy. Some voice assistance like Apple Siri and Google Now let you train your device to only recognize your voice. Amazon has previously said that it is aware of the issue, but we have yet to see a fix. So until then you may just have to strategically place your Echo away from the TV and the radio. That's it for this tech new update. For everything else head over to cnet.com. From our studios in New York, I'm Dan Graziano. [SOUND]