Fun things happened this week, too: Big promises about electric vehicles , and about flying taxis . Let’s get you caught up.
HeadlinesStories you might have missed from WIRED this week
- The National Transportation Safety Board says a Tesla Model 3’s Autopilot feature was engaged when it crashed into a semitrailer on a Florida highway in March, killing its driver—an incident eerily similar to another Florida incident three years ago.
- The “Lilium Jet”—a five-seat, 36-motor “flying taxi” that its makers say can hit 186 miles per hour—takes its first test flight .
- VW takes its battery operations in house , promising to spend $1.12 billion on a battery production plan near its German headquarters to support its electric vehicle plans.
- Also in Germans making promises: Daimler says EVs will account for more than half of its car sales by 2030, though didn’t offer many details.
- Why a weird local fight about scooter data just might determine how cities handle your private information—and why ride-hail companies like Uber and Lyft are getting in the action.
- Is it time to buy your own electric scooter ?
Baby Name of the WeekA US Census Bureau data release reveals that 109 very interesting parents named their children “Tesla” in 2018. Hot tip, adults: Don’t show your little ones the latest stock price. Other top car names: Audi (18 kiddos), Lexus (40 kiddos), and Chevy (176 kiddos).
Stat of the Week
20,000The number of McLarens that now exist in the world, according to the British car company. The 20,000th beauty off the assembly line? A right-hand drive 600LT Spider in Chicane Grey.
News from elsewhere on the internet
- Elon Musk tells Tesla employees that the company is getting very, very serious about cost cutting. Quoth he: “I will personally review and sign every 10th page [of expenses].”
Tesla pushes an over-the-air update battery software update after two high-profile fires.
- The National Labor Relations Board says in a memo that Uber drivers are contractors, not employees—with big implications for ongoing unionization fights.
- Is China losing the race to build autonomous vehicles?
How self-driving car companies can fake a convincing demo video.
- Why you might want to be skeptical about that Daimler promise to sell lots of electric vehicles.
- Uber chatted with self-driving delivery robot company Nuro.
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canonRead our 2017 coverage of the last high-profile NTSB investigation into Tesla Autopilot , which determined the electric car company bore some blame for a 2016 death.
- Game of Thrones is the last show to bring us together
- The Chernobyl disaster may have also built a paradise
- The hacker group on a supply-chain hijacking spree
- LA’s plan to reboot its bus system using cell phone data
- The antibiotics business is broken, but there's a fix
- 💻 Upgrade your work game with our Gear team's favorite laptops , keyboards , typing alternatives , and noise-canceling headphones
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It’s been a week: Let’s get you caught up.HeadlinesStories you might have missed from WIRED this weekWe still don’t know whether the Tesla Model S stopped last month by some quick-thinking cops as its driver snoozed in the front seat was on Autopilot, the electric carmaker’s semi-autonomous highway driving feature.