In March, on a Florida highway, the 50-year-old driver of a Tesla Model 3 turned on his car’s Autopilot feature and then took his hands off the wheel for eight seconds, according to an NTSB report released this week. Moments later, his car collided with a semitrailer. The driver died, and now Autopilot faces new scrutiny. That’s the worst kind of collision.
Other sorts are also bad, even if they don’t kill you. Just a few weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control reported that the majority of scooter-share riders who ended up in Austin hospitals during a study period last fall were first-time riders—and that the majority had hurt their heads. This week, our Gear team wonders: Is this an argument for buying your own scooter?
Others are more metaphorical. This spring, Uber, Lyft, and other companies that are now in the scooter-share businesses have been engaged in a quiet struggle with the city of Los Angeles over scooter data and privacy. The conflict might end up shaping how local governments think about data, we wrote this week.
Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
Baby Name of the Week
A 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
The 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
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canon
Read 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.
More Great WIRED Stories