The world is full of problems. So sometimes, it’s nice to give an enthusiastic thumbs-up to people who have solved some. This week, WIRED partnered with the Danish urban planning and design firm Copenhagenize Design to publish a list of the world’s top 20 cities for cyclists. These places are working towards public health, climate, and traffic goals by making it easier to get around on two wheels instead of four.
Also attempting to solve problems this week: Google parent Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs unit, which believes the fix for all manner of urban ills comes down to data—and hopes to test out its ideas in Toronto. Oh, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who really wants you to buy an electric car. It’s been a week. Let’s get you caught up.
Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
- What the Boeing 737 MAX and the car you drive might have in common.
- If, by chance, you did not have time to page through all 1,524 pages of Sidewalk Labs’ ambitious plans to remake a slice of Toronto in Google’s image, here’s what you need to know.
- Electric car sales are struggling, but Arnold Schwarzenegger, plus an army of savvy marketers, are here to help.
- Guess how many North American cities are on this year’s edition of the 20 most bike-friendly ones on the planet?
- Los Angeles has relinquished control of the digital tool it uses to regulate scooters. Will cities and private transportation companies like Spin, Uber, Lyft, and Bird now become friends?
- From WIRED Opinion: What China’s previous e-bike boom can teach America about scooters.
River Patrol and Dive Team Rescue of the Week
Congrats to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office dive team, which this week pulled 57 scooters and bicycles from the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. The lights on at least one Lime scooter were still working. Tossing scooters into rivers, oceans, and seas has become a meme of the scooter-share era, with some environmental advocates complaining about the discarded vehicles’ effects on waterways.
Stat of the Week
The number of hardware and software engineers who moved from the small autonomous vehicle developer Drive.ai to Apple this week, according to Axios. About 90 other workers were laid off in the transaction. The acquisition seems to confirm that Apple is still working on self-driving vehicles—and that it’s hard out there for a full-stack self-driving vehicle startup, now that the perfected technology feels further away.
News from elsewhere on the internet
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canon
If you think competent urban cycling infrastructure is cool, chances are you’ll also enjoy this 2006 profile of a man who built a cycling machine that could go very, very, very fast.