That old saw about watching the money turns out to work as well in the wild world of transportation as anywhere else. First up, the robotics veterans behind autonomous vehicle company Aurora just raised a cool $530 million in funding, and check out where it came from: stalwart Silicon Valley venture firm Sequoia Capital and ... Amazon. We chilled with 600 acolytes of the micromobility craze—you know, the bikes, scooters, velomobiles, and unicycles that have taken so many cities by storm. Will the mania last? Watch the money.
Also, we got inside a pair of track-worthy vehicles: the Porsche 911 Carrera and the roller coaster Mr. Will Pemble built in his backyard. Let’s get you caught up.
Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is an ambitious progressive climate change and social justice platform—and could mean big changes for the US transportation sector. There are few things more inequitable than the way Americans can—or can’t—get around.
Self-driving supergroup Aurora closed a $530 million Series B funding round. (Turns out building autonomous vehicle technology is expensive!) The round was led by Sequoia, but keep your eye on one new investor, a little company called Amazon.
Meet tech veteran Will Pemble, his crash test dummy Todd, and Todd’s current ride: a backyard roller coaster that reaches speeds of 18 mph.
We hopped into the new Porsche 911 Carrera with Formula One legend Mark Webber, who worried German engineers really won’t be able to improve on this $114,550 iteration of the beloved car.
At the first-ever Micromobility Conference in Northern California’s East Bay, investors hyped electric scooters and bikes—even as the industry faces an uphill climb.
The We-Get-It-You’re-Français Hypercar of the Week
Happy 110th birthday to Bugatti, the hypercar brand that just couldn’t let a major birthday go unacknowledged. The French carmaker’s new Chiron Sport “110 ans Bugatti” comes with all your expected Chiron goodies: the carbon fiber body, the aluminum radiator, the 0 to 60 acceleration in less than 2.4 seconds, the 260 mph top speed. But this one also comes with a tricolor spoiler. Liberté? Sure. Fraternité? Maybe. Egalité? J’y crois pas.
Stat of the Week
The share of all 2018 North American travel and expense payments that went to Uber, according to a report released this week by the management software company Certify. Overall, ride-hail was the second-biggest expenses category, after meals but before airfare, fuel, and car rentals.
News from elsewhere on the internet
AAA found cold weather can cut electric vehicles’ range by up to 40 percent.
The irony at the heart of GM’s bid to go all-electric: Its popular dirty, diesel-burning trucks are paying for the company's zero-emissions R&D.
The US National Transportation Safety Board’s “Most Wanted” safety enhancements included new ways to fight driver fatigue and distraction .
Lyft rolled out “Green Mode” in Seattle , which will let riders insist on hybrid or electric rides.
Consumer Reports talked to 110 hospitals and five public agencies in 47 cities and finds at least 1,500 e-scooter injuries . Experts say the real numbers are probably much higher.
From The Information, a #longread on the boom and bust of Chinese bike-share company Ofo —and a warning for today’s scooter-share companies.
Airbnb hired an airline industry veteran as it prepares to get into transportation services .
How the ideology of SimCity shaped urban planning , and maybe even today’s political dialogue.
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canon
Back in 2002, WIRED jetted to hills of Tuscany to visit with the makers of the latest revamped superscooter. Ever heard of Vespa?