Punny SUVs at the NY Auto Show and More Car News This Week

On the floor of the New York Auto Show this week, Genesis showed off its sweet little Mint concept, an electric two-seater with a very abbreviated sedan body. The Hyundai luxury arm does not, however, have any plans to put the adorable thing into production—perhaps because, as we learned this week, getting world-changing tech into the market takes a fair amount of elbow grease. Elon Musk’s Boring Company is slowly making its way through the necessary paperwork to make its DC to Baltimore Loop concept a real, live thing. Uber is rounding up the oodles of cash it needs to develop self-driving vehicles. “Flying taxi” engineers are trying to get their concepts past now-nervous aviation regulators. Everyone is trying!

Also this week: Ice road truckers get some help from space, and Lyft blames bad brakes for a ebike fiasco. It’s been a week. Let’s get you caught up.

Headlines

Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week

The largest aircraft by wingspan takes to the skies for a full 150 minutes last weekend, despite the untimely death of its major funder, Microsoft cofounder (and space enthusiast) Paul Allen.

The Boring Company’s East Coast “Loop” mass-=transit project takes a bitsy step toward reality with the release of a 500-page draft environmental assessment report, the most detailed outline of Musk’s plans for the tunneling tech company yet.

Injury reports force Motivate, the Lyft-owned bike-share operator, to remove its electric bicycles from service in New York, Washington, DC, and the Bay Area—a bummer for users who clamored to use the popular, faster cycles.

Uber’s self-driving-vehicle-building Autonomous Technologies Group gets a new $1 billion investment and its very own board—right in time for Uber’s IPO.

Reps for the nascent “flying taxi” industry—building electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft—worry the FAA’s grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX might slow approvals for their new tech.

How sensor-equipped satellites might help scientists keep ice road truckers safe, even as climate change warms the roads.

Adorable SUV Debut of the Week

At the New York Auto Show this week, the dominant trend seemed to be cute, compact SUVs. Kia displayed the scissor-doored, punny HabaNiro; Mazda presented its once-elusive diesel-powered crossover, the CX-5; Subaru showed off its updated Outback (new roof rack! weekend warriors rejoice!); Mercedes-Benz’s sleek, electric EQC 1886 edition had its debut; and the Venue, the smallest Hyundai crossover yet, had its moment in the sun. But the biggest little SUV debut might have been the Lincoln Corsair, a stylishly designed SUV that comes with 24-way adjustable seats (?!) and might prove a star of the school pickup line.

The Lincoln Corsair is a smaller sports utility vehicle, built with the Chinese consumer in mind.

Lincoln

Stat of the Week

38.5 million

The number of scooter-share trips taken last year, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. That’s 2 million more trips than Americans took on station-based bike share and 29.5 million more than they did on dockless bike share. We love to share scooters! The NACTO data also indicates that scooter riders are more into joyrides—highest ridership is on Fridays and weekends, rather than commuting hours.

Required reading

News from elsewhere on the internet

Elon Musk continues negotiations with the SEC over a contempt charge. Meanwhile, four members of Tesla’s board may depart in the next two years amidst a corporate governance shakeup.

Also in Tesla: The automaker publishes its first-ever impact report, showing how many resources the company uses to build its products.

Audi says it will use lidar sensors from Mountain View startup Aeva to help its self-driving cars “see.”

Check out Tesla competitor Nikola Motors’ two new electric trucks (also, its electric jet ski).

Lyft stock is down and investors are suing, saying the company overhyped its IPO.

Chinese electric vehicle company Byton loses a cofounder.

A study suggests ebike trips could replace car trips—and concludes climate conscious cities should consider creating financial incentives to buy them.

Chicago insurance fraudsters swipe 100 Mercedes-Benzes from Car2Go.

Choose your mode: You can now reserve a bike-share bicycle in the Lyft app.

The public transit wiz brought on to save the New York City subway might quit over tensions with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In the Rearview

Essential stories from WIRED’s canon

Take a trip back to 2015 New York, when the best mint-green offering at the Auto Show was a $2.3 million Aston Martin.


More Great WIRED Stories

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired https://www.wired.com/story/punny-suvs-ny-auto-show-more-car-news