Welcome to a sleepy time of year, when the heat drives everyone to lakes or oceans or pools and no one wants to do anything, really. Unless you’re hanging out in steamy Washington, DC. WIRED Transpo had the scoop on two very DC stories this week. There’s a $287 billion transportation bill wending its way through Congress, with—finally!—some money to fight climate change. (Think electric vehicle charging stations, pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly street design, and flood-proof infrastructure.) And then there’s the small experiment, launched this week, dedicated to taming the wildest place in the District: the curb.
Sleepy, perhaps. Boring, no. It’s been a week. Let’s get you caught up.
Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
Robotic Arm of the Week
How does an electric car without a driver top off its charge tank? New Jersey hints at one solution: Its drivers aren’t allowed to pump their own gasoline, which means attendants handle the nozzle-related tasks. A new project from Electrify America and the startup Stable points to another, more complicated one: a robotic arm. The groups plan to open an experimental autonomous electric charging station in early 2020.
Stat of the Week
Consumer confidence in the future of self-driving vehicles, according to a new survey from J.D. Power, which graded on a 100-point scale. Over 5,000 respondents polled online reported they had low opinions of the tech, with the majority (66 percent) saying they have little to no knowledge of self-driving vehicles at all. Read WIRED, people!
News from elsewhere on the internet
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canon
From the dark ages of 2017: Why understanding the street curb is the key to understanding the future of cities.