A Travel Ban, Gig Economy Risks, and More Car News This Week


Well, that was fast. For plenty of Americans, last week began with the regular old commute to school or work and ended with canceled semesters, robust “work from home policies,” fears about making next month’s rent, and canceled events—everything from weddings to concerts to (it hurts!) baseball’s opening day. The coronavirus pandemic has reordered the lives of plenty worldwide. Airlines struggled. People wondered whether it was safe to go to the grocery store. Drivers for delivery services like DoorDash and Grubhub pulled in some extra bucks, even as they grappled with fears of infection themselves.

This week, we’ll end with a plea: Have you, your company, or your family found a creative way around the Covid-19 outbreak? Are you inventing safe and science-approved ways to get around or discovering new ways to have fun? If so, drop us a line at @WIREDTransport.

In the meantime: It’s been a week. Let’s get you caught up.

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Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week

Bummers of the Week

It’s been a rough one, and automotive events haven’t been spared from the roughness. Car and Driver has kept a useful (and depressing!) tally of those that have been canceled or delayed by the global Covid-19 pandemic. Check the list before you try to tune into anything. And maybe go driving instead?

Stat of the Week: –2.4 Percent

In non-disease news: The number of cars per people in the US is still down slightly since 2006, according to the data-crunchers at Sivak Applied Research. The metric fell from 0.786 per person in 2006 to 0.745 in 2012, just after the recession, but recently rebounded to 0.767 in 2018. Lots of homes have two or more cars, and fewer have zero. Does the anemic gain speak to a broader trend in car buying and the slow death of the proverbial American driver? Maybe not.

Required Reading

News from elsewhere on the internet

In the Rearview

Essential stories from WIRED’s canon

From 2018: A race to find the next pandemic before it finds us.