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An Origin Story, Smart Headlights, and Other Car News

The future comes in fits and starts, and we buckled up and went through a few this week. Cruise, General Motors’ self-driving unit, hosted a big party in San Francisco to launch Origin , an electric six-seat, steering wheel-free vehicle that it says is the future of shared autonomy. The vehicle will go into production...sometime, and we still have plenty of questions. Our reporters also learned about little vehicle tweaks coming down the pike that might make your life a bit better: smart headlights that won’t blind your fellow drivers, and a system from Hyundai that some of the more unpleasant sounds of the road.

Plus, we looked at what it might take to make public transit better for women everywhere, and why you might not see emotional support rabbits on your next flight . It’s been a week; let’s get you caught up.

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Headlines

Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
  • The global, techified fight against snarge —a silly word for the scary thing that happens when a bird hits an airplane midair.

  • Finally, the federal government and safety groups settle on a way to talk about advanced driver assistance tech.

  • Before transit agencies can make service work for women, they need more data .

  • Hyundai’s new Genesis GV80 SUV comes with a sound system for cancelling road noise to nix that loud tire roar.
  • The feds might rein in emotional support animals on flights.

  • There’s a litany of issues at Boeing , which said this week that the 737 MAX probably won’t be approved for flight again until the middle of the year.

  • Meet Origin , the self-driving shuttle of the future, which Cruise says it will really put into production sometime soon.
  • The future of laser headlights , it turns out, is very bright—and much more friendly to human eyes.

Superstar Bike Lover of the WeekThe Lakers’ LeBron James has teamed up with Lyft and the YMCA to offer 16-to-20-year-olds access to Lyft-operated bike-share programs, including New York’s CitiBike, the Bay Area’s Bay Wheels, and Capital Bikeshare in Washington, DC. LeBronb has long been a low key bike commuter, and has been known to cycle to games.

Stat of the Week: 61%

The share of total miles ride-hail vehicles traveled without a passenger in the car in 2018, according to an estimate released by the California Air Resources Board last month. The report also estimated that the ride-hail fleet—Uber, Lyft and others—emitted 50 percent more CO2 than the statewide vehicle fleet average, even though the cars are generally newer, include fewer light trucks and are more fuel efficient than those in the statewide fleet.

Required Reading

News from elsewhere on the internet