Uber in Vancouver, a Vehicle Ban in SF, and Other Car News

What if the future of cars contained fewer of them? That was the proposition once put forward by companies like Uber and Lyft before research suggested that the ride-hailers are putting more miles on the road than pulling miles off them. And yet: Lots of folk still think advancements like ride-hail and autonomous vehicles might be a balm to terrible traffic, and that tech innovation plus regulation could lead to fewer emissions and less time sitting behind the wheel. Last month, Vancouver (and the province of British Columbia) finally, finally allowed ride-hail to roam the streets, backed by evidence-based rules that government officials hope will help the region’s transportation system. And just a touch to the south, San Francisco officials banned all private vehicles—including Ubers and Lyfts—from a road in the heart of the city.
Plus, we looked at the latest pretty financials from Tesla, and learned more about helicopter safety in the wake of the Kobe Bryant crash. 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
  • Bengaluru, India, come collect your (terrible) prize .
  • After Kobe Bryant and eight other people died in a helicopter crash this week, we investigated why visibility is so, so important for helicopters .

  • The reason Elon Musk is tweeting out a dancing guy emoji. (Hint: Tesla put out its quarterly results this week.)
  • Vancouver finally, finally gets ride hail —and it's hoping the long, deliberate approach to the new(ish) technology will pay off.
  • Why a major street in San Francisco has banned private cars .
Victory Troll of the WeekOf course the award goes to Elon Musk, who found some time amid running three companies , hitting vehicle production records , sending, erm, terse emails to reporters, and winning in court to record and then drop an EDM track on SoundCloud entitled “Don’t Doubt ur Vibe.” I cannot say this is my type of music, but at least one person on the internet thinks it’s a banger. Please: Open your ears and judge for yourself.

Stat of the Week: $760 billion

The cost of a five-year infrastructure plan put forward by House Democrats this week (because nothing else was happening on Capitol Hill). That pile of money would go towards investments in bridges, roads, railways, and broadband, and would set aside dollars to shore up the nation’s infrastructure to prepare for climate change.

Required Reading

News from elsewhere on the internet