Apple’s self-driving Lexus gets caught on camera

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Apple's Lexus is decked out in sensors.
Apple's Lexus is decked out in sensors.
Photo: Bloomberg

Apple’s self-driving cars have been spotted in the wild for the first time, giving fans an early peek at the tech that could change roads forever.

The California DMV issued a permit to Apple earlier this month allowing it to test its self-driving cars on public roads. Apple is only registered to drive three Lexus cars around Silicon Valley, but the company is wasting no time in its efforts to catch up to the competition.

Ex-NASA engineers lead Apple’s self-driving car team

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lexus
The 2015 Lexus RX450h is Apple's vehicle of choice.
Photo: Lexus

Apple is tapping into some of the brilliant minds behind NASA’s recent project for its self-driving car concept, according to new documents that unmask some of the scientists on the team.

A new filing from the California DMV reveals the identity of the six drivers listed on Apple’s self-driving permit, some of whom weren’t even known to be working for Cupertino.

How to spot Apple’s self-driving cars in the wild

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tim cook in a car
Tim Cook and Apple are getting serious about the auto industry.
Photo: Tim Cook/Twitter

Apple finally received permission from the California DMW to test self-driving cars on public roads this week, but spotting an Apple Car in the wild won’t be easy for fans.

Instead of making its own automobile for the streets, Apple will simply be testing its autonomous vehicle software using other company’s cars. Apple has permission to drive only three cars, so seeing them on the road might be tough.

Here’s what to look for.

Campaigners want Apple to block your iPhone while you’re driving

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iphone-7-in-hand
Feature could save lives, campaigners claim.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Relatives of four U.K. citizens who were killed by the driver of a truck as he used his phone while driving are campaigning for Apple to introduce a feature disabling drivers’ iPhones from working in the car.

“There is an epidemic of people using their phone at the wheel,” said Doug Houghton, who lost two of his sons in the incident. “And what do you do with epidemics? You cure them.”

Google has a secret plan to take over public parking and transit

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Google is coming for your city.
Google is coming for your city.
Photo: Google

A shadowy subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is planning to completely revolutionize public parking and transportation, according to a new report that shines a light on the ambitious initiative.

The mysterious company is Sidewalk Labs, and it has begun offering cities its high-tech services, which claim to make it easier to drive and park by creating a hybrid of public and private transportation options that utilize ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

iOS 10 will help you save money on the road

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Apple Maps has some new tricks in iOS 10.
Apple Maps has some new tricks in iOS 10.
Photo: Apple

Drivers tired of forking over cash to toll booths on the morning commute are getting some welcomed relief thanks to iOS 10.

Apple Maps didn’t get much stage time during the WWDC 2016 keynote earlier this week, but along with adding proactive route suggestions, Apple has also made it super easy to avoid any toll booths that might be on your route.

Bus-ted! Coach driver fired for using iPad at 60 mph

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Don't be distracted by your iPad while driving a bus.
Photo: 20th Century Fox/Cult of Mac

Talk all you want about the declining market share of the iPad, but some people are still willing to risk their life over Apple’s breakthrough tablet device.

One such person is Irish coach driver Sean Purcell, who recently lost his job after CCTV showed him driving his coach with his elbows at more than 60 miles per hour so that he could operate his iPad.

Now that’s a true Apple fan. Wait, what?

Apple wants Siri to give you navigation instructions like a human

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Apple Maps instructions might get a lot more 'human' soon.
Apple Maps instructions might get a lot more 'human' soon. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

Getting direction from a computer sucks, but that could soon change based on a new patent filed by Apple for “Humanized Navigation Instructions for Mapping Applications.

Rather than receiving instructions from an emotion-less robot, Apple’s new patent would make Siri’s turn-by-turn directions sound more like they’re coming from your buddy in the passenger seat by mixing in references to restaurants and landmarks.

Here’s some examples you might here, instead of just being told “in 500 feet, turn right”:

Dashcams reveal horrors of teens texting and driving

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Don't text and drive. Photo: AAA
Don't text and drive. Photo: AAA

We all know that teens are crazy drivers. But when you put phones in their hands, things get really bad.

AAA conducted video analysis of teenagers on the road and discovered that “distraction was a factor in nearly six out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes.”

The video footage speaks for itself, so just watch: