What’s it worth to save the world? That’s the question Elon Musk seems to answer for himself every day, as he builds his “sustainable transportation” company, Tesla. And according to our long read, well, most things are worth it. Rage firings. Calling a new parent away from his baby. Sleeping on floors and inspecting robots personally. Writer Charles Duhigg will take you through the high-stress production of the Model 3 and a wild few years for Musk. It’s a ride.
Also published on WIRED this week: The self-driving sector seems to get serious about safety, an electric motorcycle pins one of our writers to the ground (he’s fine!), we get inside a self-driving truck, and we take a a peek inside Aston Martin’s $3 million Valkyrie hypercar and its V-12 engine. It’s been a week. Let’s get you caught up.
Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
Today’s troll is tomorrow’s business model. Burger King released an in-app promotion that will let you buy a whopper for 1 measly cent—provided you’re within 600 feet of a McDonald's. (The promotion has, tragically, expired.) Senior editor Alex Davies argues this just might be the future of self-driving car ads.
How do build a self-driving-car company that actually prioritizes safety? A few say they’re trying to figure it out.
If you like your motorcycles silent, Cake’s $13,000 electric motorcycle belongs on your wish list.
Editor Alex Davies heads down to Tucson, Arizona, to check out self-driving-truck company TuSimple. He came away impressed by the truck’s smooth lane changes and by its promise to see happenings 1,000 meters down the road. And then, the system shut down.
Aston Martin’s upcoming Valkyrie hypercar will cost ya $3 million—so it should have a 6.5-liter V-12 engine that can produce 1,000 horsepower and rev to 11,100 rpm.
WIRED spent months speaking to former and current Tesla employees about how the electric carmaker pushed through Model 3 production hell—and CEO Elon Musk’s erratic, headline-making summer. There is yelling. There are impromptu firings. There is Monty Python . There are, eventually, impressive production numbers.
Musk also took to America’s television screens this week, for a lengthy interview with 60 Minutes . But our own eagle eyed senior writer Jack Stewart noticed a discrepancy: When Musk showed off his Model 3’s Autopilot feature, he did exactly what Tesla warns everyone not to do. Namely, take their hands off the wheel. The boo-boo points to bigger questions about Tesla’s technology, Jack explains.
Secretly confused about this whole self-driving thing? This week, we updated WIRED’s guide to self-driving. Read up; we won’t tell.
Vintage, Newly Relevant SNL Skit of the Week
Sam Waterston highly recommends you purchase that robot insurance . These things are trying to kill you, you know.
Stat of the Week
News from elsewhere on the internet
A blockbuster report from the The Information , which finds that Uber self-driving engineers and execs ignored or pushed aside warning signs that its tech wasn’t working as intended just days before one of its vehicles struck and killed an Arizona woman.
Also in that Elon Musk 60 Minutes interview: Elon says he does not respect the US Securities and Exchange Commission .
Airlines are already using facial recognition to speed up boarding times, so why shouldn’t Hertz use it to speed up car rental ?
Alaska fixed its earthquake-shattered road in just four days .
Scooter companies are bleeding cash .
From the LA Times op-ed section: Electric cars are a dumb target if Trump wants to hurt GM .
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canon
Let’s travel back to 2012, the last time Elon Musk was on the cover of WIRED. He talked Mars.