This Week in the Future of Cars: Lofty Goals, Raw Ambition

Life is full of little letdowns. That’s why it’s so refreshing to occasionally consider someone do something grand, and only a bit nutty. Like Elon Musk setting up a fully functional production tent in the Tesla’s factory’s backyard, in a improbable–and thus far successful !– bid to reach his 2018 production targets. Like Lyft, the little brother of American ride-hailing, spending $250 million on…bicycles? Like a developer taking a polluted ex-Ford factory in Minnesota and trying to turn it into a walker-friendly, net-zero energy planned community. Like the mere existence of the Polaris Slingshot, which is not quite a car and not quite a motorcycle, but tells us some important things about the future of transportation.

This week, it was all about lofty goals. Let’s get you caught up.


Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week

With a little help from a final assembly line were established in a parking lot, Tesla hits its Model 3 production target–only about eight or so months behind schedule. CEO Elon Musk, always one for an exceedingly ambitious goals, responds with a new one: 6,000 Model 3s a week by the end of August.

The bike-share war went into high gear this week, when Lyft officially announced it had acquired the country’s largest bike-share operator, Motivate. The buy gives the ride-share company control over big-name systems like DC’s Capital Bikeshare, NYC’s CitiBike, and the Bay Area’s Ford GoBike. But the committee is also devotes it an all-of-the-above strategy for transportation domination–and some interesting bits of street corner real estate to play with.

Last month, a Cruise Chevy Bolt being driven manually bumped into a Cruise Chevy Bolt in autonomous mode. Kinda hilarious, sure, but the minor incident has lessons to teach about the challenge of building self-driving vehicle tech.

From the ashes of an old Ford manufacturing plant rises a bold, green vision for the future of Minneapolis/ St. Paul: a highly bikeable, net-zero energy community. But will the plan get past its neighborhood opposition–and are its promises even reasonable?

Transportation editor Alex Davies learns the Polaris Slingshot–not a automobile , not a motorcycle–is a terrible commuting partner. But it’s real fun when you get out of your routine and just drive. As autonomy begins to take over subsequently this century, this fun proportion may be exactly the sort of driving activity that survives.

Ferrari North America

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