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A Cruise Ship Quarantine, a Hunt for Cheaters, and More Car News This Week

Turns out transportation angles lurk in every story. This week, the global reach of the coronavirus was top of mind, so we investigated how cruise ships—and one cruise in particular—helped spread the virus worldwide. Then, for a change of pace (pun intended), we looked into how digital footprints helped one data obsessive track down (we did it again) marathon cheats. Meanwhile, in California, a labor law is changing the way Uber and its drivers do business, which may end up affecting the price of a ride.

Plus, check out this new helicopter. It’s been a week; let’s get you caught up.

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Headlines

Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week

Newsletter-ception: Check out WIRED writer Steven Levy’s new newsletter, which this week includes an interview with Uber whistleblower Susan Fowler on her new book about her experience at the company.

How a cruise ship became a coronavirus catastrophe.

A new California labor law has created an algorithmic game of spy vs. spy between Uber and Uber drivers.

Documents released through a federal investigation into the fatal 2018 crash of a Tesla Model X on Autopilot suggest the feature had glitched near the crash site before.

Meet Derek Murphy, a data analyst with an extracurricular obsession: catching amateur marathon cheats.

Design tweaks could make this helicopter safer (also, quieter).

Self-Aware Toy of the Week

If you have $400 lying around, consider the collaboration between Hot Wheels and Tesla on a 1:10 scale Cybertruck, complete with fancy remote so you can “drive” it for up to 30 minutes per charge. And go ahead, tack on the included sticker, which makes it look like the window of your very fancy toy is shattered—just like the first Cybertruck unveiled in November. There’s also a 1:64 scale Cybertruck, which can be yours for just $20. As with the full-size electric carmaker, you can order the truck now, but it won’t show up for some months or years (in this case, in December).

Stat of the Week: 1,000

The number of electric pedal-assist bike-share cycles set to hit the streets of New York by next year, courtesy of Lyft-owned Citibike. The e-bikes are finally back in limited numbers this week; they were pulled off the streets 10 months ago for brake issues, which had reportedly hurt some NYC riders.

Required Reading

News from elsewhere on the internet

New York gets into another fight with the Trump administration, this one over car exports.

Picking up Lime scooters doesn’t make a ton of financial sense anymore.

Is congestion pricing coming to San Francisco?

Welcome to autonomous yard truck startup Outrider, just outta stealth.

Jaguar Land Rover’s new autonomous, electric shuttle is just a concept for now, but something like it may hit the road next year.

More LEGO bike lanes, please.

The very quiet skies over China.

In the Rearview

Essential stories from WIRED’s canonWhat public health officials learned from the last coronavirus outbreak—the 2003 appearance of an illness named SARS.


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