Plus, we wondered what happened to all those people who shelled out for vanity license plates that ended up costing way more than they bargained for. It’s been a week. Let’s get you caught up.
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HeadlinesStories you might have missed from WIRED this week
- A brief history of all the vanity license plates that have cost their owners dearly in mistaken fines.
- Honda’s brand new airbag is designed to prevent brain injuries in an all-too-common kind of car crash.
- The Ford-owned scooter company Spin wanted to operate on a university campus, and Virginia Tech researchers wanted to investigate scooters. How an agreement between the two ended up in 50 sensor-laden scooters on the Hokies campus .
- An old Kodak plant, 30 to 60 GoPros, 100 acres of track, and 28 drivers come together to create the ultimate American Ninja Warrior, but for cars .
- Guess how fast the new Bugatti Centodieci superdupercar can go.
- Our ride in the battery-powered VW dune buggy , a nostalgia trip into the electric future.
Transpo-Related Font Controversy of the WeekAsks an eagle-eyed writer for The Verge: Did Apple’s upcoming Morning Show drama, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, swipe its logo from our other favorite drama, Elon Musk’s Boring Company ?
Stat of the Week86%The jump in plug-in electric vehicle sales in the US between 2017 and 2018, according to a new report from the advocacy group Environment America. In total, 1,113,310 electric vehicles (including hybrids) were sold between 2011 and 2018. It’s still a small fraction of total vehicle sales, sure, but it’s growing fast.
News from elsewhere on the internet
- Walmart sues Tesla, alleging its solar roofs kept catching on fire. Now, the two companies appear to be working it out.
- VW says it’s not actually taking a stake in Tesla.
- A battery chemistry tweak will give the 2020 Chevy Bolt an added 21 miles of range.
- The White House is trying to prevent more automakers from joining in an agreement with California regulators to adhere to stricter emissions standards.
- Waymo releases its own open data set, a potential boon for academics working on self-driving technologies.
- Starship Technologies says it will deploy even more delivery robots on university campuses.
- An e-scooter that can drive...itself?
- Uber drivers in the UK are fighting for access to their own driving data.
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canon
Speaking of sand: Curl up with this 2015 tale of the deadly global war over the granular stuff , and an excerpt from the brand new book based on that piece.