Space! The final frontier! Humankind has gone there a few times now, but nothing has seemed to capture the imagination—or, at least, the American imagination—like the Apollo 11 mission. It happened 50 years ago this week. We celebrated here at WIRED Transpo by wondering what a “moon shot” is these days. And by exploring what went wrong, and what could go wrong in the future, if our satellite system went down, as Europe’s Galileo did this week. And by learning about a new combat helicopter. And by driving around (digitally) in the new mid-engine Corvette. Hey, you can’t look to the sky all week. Your neck would hurt.
Plus, we talked to researchers who think self-driving delivery robots belong not on the road but in the bike lane. It’s been a week. Let’s get you caught up.
Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
New-moji of the Week
In 2018, Ford made an unusual move for an automotive company. It submitted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, the official organization that reviews and approves brand new emoji. This week, an exciting development: Ford’s pickup truck emoji has been shortlisted. If all goes according to plan, you’ll be able to tap out your own blue pickup in texts and tweets in 2020. Ford spent $50,000 on the effort, according to The Atlantic, and designed the ‘moji to echo elements of the Ranger and F-150.
Stat of the Week5–7%
The drop in fuel consumption for vehicles using adaptive cruise control, compared to their less-advanced driving cousins. That’s according to a study released this week by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in collaboration with Volvo. But those savings might be erased, at least partially, if all vehicles use adaptive cruise control, because it would take each vehicle time to detect speed changes in the ones around them.
News from elsewhere on the internet
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canon
In memory of the Mercury astronauts who led the way to the Apollo program, peep our oral history of the 1983 film The Right Stuff.