Audi Recall, Shifting Alliances, and More Car News This Week

If you’re not making adjustments, you’re not learning, right? Isn’t that the reason every tech conference echoes with the word “iteration”? This week, we saw plenty of course corrections. Audi recalled a few E-Trons over a faulty grommet, a blooper that risks (but has yet to produce) a battery fire. Aurora, the self-driving tech startup, and VW ended their agreement to work on autonomous vehicles—just as Aurora struck another deal with FCA . New York decided it wanted even more rules for Uber and Lyft. We drove a Lamborghini that adapts to how you drive. Because change is sometimes fun, right?Also this week: We learn how the engineers at Cadillac expanded the capabilities of its SuperCruise driver assistance feature, and hit the California coast in a hybrid Porsche 911 . It’s been a week. Let’s get you caught up.


Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
  • Lyft sues San Francisco over bike-share permits.
  • And New York City is cracking down again on Lyft. Also Uber.
  • Amazon built a highly detailed digital reproduction of a suburban Washington neighborhood to test delivery robots .
  • What’s with all the hookups and breakups in the self-driving vehicle industry?
  • Speaking of: Autonomous vehicle startup Aurora hooks up with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles . They want to make cargo vans and pickups that drive themselves.
  • Cadillac releases an update to SuperCruise, its semi-automated, Autopilot-like feature, that will let its drivers use the hands-off driver assistance on 35 percent more roads .
  • Audi recalls some E-trons over a battery issue. Watch for those in-car warning lights, people!
  • How the mad machinists and powertrain nerds at the company Vonnen turn Porsche 911s into hybrids capable of hitting 60 in 3.6 seconds .
  • The new Lamborghini Huracán EVO comes with a driver-assistance system that sucks in data about your driving style—and changes the all-wheel-steering, stability control, and traction control to match.

Working Autonomous Vehicle of the Week

After all the headlines and lofty language about self-driving vehicles, it feels good to see one actually work a shift in awhile. Vera, Volvo Trucks’ first electric autonomous vehicle, has started to haul some goods in a logistics center in Gothenburg, Sweden. The slow and repetitive task seems perfect for robotic driving technology, which is still very much in development.
Vera, the first autonomous, electric vehicle from Volvo Trucks, hauls freight for the Danish shipping company DFDS. Volvo Trucks

Stat of the Week

$500 million

The projected cost to Uber if its drivers are classified as employees and not independent contractors in California, according to a Barclays analysis. A law recently passed by the California Assembly—that’s now in the hands of the state senate—would do just that. The change might cost Lyft an additional $290 million, according to the analysis.

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In the Rearview

Essential stories from WIRED’s canon
More iteration: The relentless tinkering that makes F1 cars look so funky.

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