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The self-driving car world is a secretive one, where software, hardware, and testing methods are jealously guarded (and occasionally spark a major lawsuit). But this week, we got a glimpse into what these developers have actually been up to, thanks first to a newly released batch of “disengagement” reports every autonomous vehicle outfit testing in California provides to the state at the end of each year. The disengagement data isn’t too helpful, but the reports do reveal a serious spike in would-be AV testing, among other tidbits. More intel comes from SoftBank’s latest move in this space, a nearly $1 billion investment in AV startup Nuro.
In non-robo news, we get a tour of all the tools and tricks that keep Nascar races racy, and bid adieu to the 380, Airbus’ freakishly large passenger jet. Let’s get you caught up.
Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
Transportation and Logistics Superstars of the Week
Give it up for agriculture specialists at the US Customs and Border Protection, who made sure that none of the millions of cut flowers shipped into the country for Valentine’s Day also carried hitchhiking pests and diseases.
Stat of the Week
The year-over-year decline in truck speeds along the nation’s top 10 bottlenecks, including the stretch of I-95 in Fort Lee, New Jersey; the I-285 at I-85 (northbound) in Atlanta, Georgia; and SR 60 at SR 57 in Los Angeles. That’s according to the American Transportation Research Institute, a research organization that studies trucking issues. ATRI blames the slowdown on traffic.
News from elsewhere on the internet
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canon
That Rivian investment indicates Amazon may be as focused as ever on the future of earthbound, even as its founder and CEO works to liberate the human race from Planet Earth.