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Tesla Raises Money, Drones Get Certified, and More Car News This Week

Sometimes going back to the drawing board ain’t so bad. This week, Tesla shares took a much-needed hop as the company announced an effort to raise a small mountain of capital to keep the electric carmaker climbing. At first, the offering sat around $2.3 billion, but the company pushed it up to $2.7 billion amid investor enthusiasm. Drone companies, meanwhile, got hyped for the future, as a new certification from the FAA presented new opportunities—and new questions about how the government will regulate the autonomous flying delivery bots.

Other times, the drawing board is less than great. Lyft will have to rethink its strategy in New York City, one of its largest markets, after a judge denied its petition objecting to the city’s driver minimum wage laws. The company maintains that the rules are ultimately bad for drivers. Now, both Uber and Lyft say they’re halting driver hiring in NYC.

Yeesh! It’s been a week; let’s get you caught up.

Headlines

Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week

What does Waze, the world’s niftiest traffic-busting app, do when the traffic never ends? Convince people to make friends, of course.

The Centers for Disease Control and the city of Austin complete a joint study into electric scooter injuries—and find a bunch of people are hurting themselves in falls.

The Google spinoff Wing gets the Federal Aviation Administration’s first drone delivery authorization. Here’s what now sits between you and your air-delivered pizza.

I don’t know what line of work you’re in, but chances are you don’t need to learn how to do a J-turn. But here’s a guy who could teach you—plus a bunch of other very cool car tricks that special operatives use in the field.

Disintegrating Audi of the Week

The artist Fabien Oefner’s ongoing “Disintegrating” series appears to depict performance cars in the midst of a violent explosions. In reality, the effect reflects methodical mechanical and photography work. Watch Oefner—supported by Audi—as he puts together his newest work, displaying the metal guts of the German carmaker’s limited edition Audi R8 V10.

Stat of the Week22%

The share of total car-related ride-hail business trip transactions that went into Lyft coffers so far this year, according to the travel and expense software company Certify. The smaller ride-hail company still trails its main rival, Uber, which accounted for 73 percent of transactions in that category—but Lyft’s share rose 4 percent from this time last year.

Required Reading

News from elsewhere on the internet

Google wants to start making money off maps.

The White House denied a Tesla request to exempt its Autopilot hardware from tariffs on imports from China (where some of the electronics are made), calling into question the future of its in-development self-driving tech.

The Northern California family of a man whose Tesla crashed while he used Autopilot sued the electric carmaker.

Could today’s Teslas really hack it as robotaxis?

RIP Smartcars in the US.

What happened when ex-CEO Travis Kalanick tried to finagle his way onto the New York Stock Exchange floor for the upcoming the Uber IPO.

What happened when Uber took over public transit in a small Canadian town.

What happened to the bicycle manufacturing capital of China after the dockless bike-share boom went bust.

In the Rearview

Essential stories from WIRED’s canon

Get caught up on all things drones with WIRED’s Guide to Drones.

More Great WIRED StoriesWhy I love my teeny-tiny knockoff NokiaDonald Glover, Adidas, Nike, and the fight for coolThe quietly lucrative business of donating human eggsAre we there yet? A reality check on self-driving carsHow a scammy phone call led to the robocall king📱 Torn between the latest phones? Never fear—check out our iPhone buying guide and favorite Android phones📩 Hungry for even more deep dives on your next favorite topic? Sign up for the Backchannel newsletterRead More



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