A Tesla Truckla, Robotic Pizza Delivery, and More Car News This Week

Over here at WIRED Transportation, we often talk to and write about people doing big, ambitious things—changing how their local transportation systems work, inventing new technologies, or researching why the world travels the way it does. But we also talk to the tinkerers, the people working on cool projects on the edges. Sometimes that’s more fun. This week, we learned how a dedicated DIY-er DIY-ed a Tesla pickup truck (a “Truckla”), why a robotics company is suddenly very interested in pizza, and how you might top a 22,000-mile trip around the world on a solar-powered plane. Plus, we learned why Tesla is working on videogames and which country builds the most reliable cars, according to a new survey. It’s been …

Waymo Goes Global With Renault-Nissan Partnership

Waymo has signed an agreement to work with Renault and Nissan on issues surrounding self-driving car technology, the companies said Thursday. The partnership, which the companies call a “first step,” doesn’t currently include immediate plans to launch Waymo self-driving vehicles in France or Japan. Instead, the companies will work together to “research commercial, legal and regulatory issues related to driverless transportation-as-a-service offerings in France and Japan,” according to a joint press release. What exactly does that mean? Clearly, Waymo brings the tech expertise, and Renault and Nissan bring the manufacturing know-how, plus some insider knowledge about local laws and politics. Both want to figure out how to one day turn autonomous vehicles into a viable, money-making business. But like most …

YouTube’s ‘Shitty Robot’ Queen Made Her Own Tesla Pickup Truck

YouTuber Simone Giertz is known as the queen of "shitty robots," the kind of robots that make a mess of chopping vegetables, serving soup, cutting hair, writing holiday cards, and wiping your nether regions. Her inventions are clever, the robots intentionally excessive and comically inept. Hilarity ensues; Giertz curses, to the chagrin of her advertisers. But she keeps churning out machines as well as videos, exploring a variety of building projects in her San Francisco workshop—even as she battles a brain tumor. Which makes Giertz’s newest project even more remarkable—and functional. It marks a kind of turning point for Giertz, who says she’d like to focus more on building cars, and not the shitty kind. Today, she revealed an electric …