Also this week: A “flying car” gets quieter , a brand new airline won’t squish your legs (because you can’t actually fly inside its “planes”), and we explore why Rio’s much-anticipated transit system is struggling . It’s been a week; let’s get you caught up.
HeadlinesStories you might have missed from WIRED this week
- Not a millionaire? You might still be able to afford one of these semiautonomous cars.
- Why itty bitty cars might help researchers crack self-driving.
- Tesla’s Smart Summon feature is classic Tesla —and it doesn’t mean your robotaxi is around the corner.
- The Federal Aviation Administration recognizes UPS as an official commercial airline , but for drones.
- Rio’s gondolas sure are picturesque, and promised to be endlessly useful to the residents of one of the cities underserved favelas. Too bad they turned out to be a garbage form of transit .
- The newest “flying car” from Kitty Hawk is powered by eight motors, but promises a near-silent flight .
- If you’re a first responder, you’ll like Bosch’s new “pyrofuse” , a safety tool that will automatically sever the connection between the car’s power and its battery—so you won’t get electrocuted while doing your job.
Near Miss of the Week
On Monday, the internet freaked out over this video, which shows a berserking catering truck almost careening into an American Airlines-affiliated Embraer 145 airplane before a quick-thinking employee smashed the thing, Mario Kart-style, to save the day:Here’s what American told WIRED about the incident: “Preliminary reports indicate that the accelerator became stuck and caused the catering cart to lose control. No American Airlines team members were injured and the incident resulted in one 10 minute flight delay. We appreciate the quick action of our team member who stopped the vehicle.” Us too.
What the Boeing 737 MAX and the car you drive might have in common .If, by chance, you did not have time to page through all 1,524 pages of Sidewalk Labs’ ambitious plans to remake a slice of Toronto in Google’s image, here’s what you need to know .Electric car sales are struggling, but Arnold Schwarzenegger, plus an army of savvy marketers , are here to help.
Stat of the Week
In recent AAA tests, that’s the percentage of the time that cars with automatic emergency braking still hit adult pedestrian-shaped crash dummies—even while only moving at the relatively slow speed of 20 mph, and even in daylight. For child-shaped crash dummies, the numbers were even scarier: Those got hit a disturbing 89 percent of the time.
News from elsewhere on the internet