The Most-Read WIRED Transportation Stories of 2017

When I worked at Texas Monthly magazine, there was no surer way to capture a reader’s attention than to put Willie Nelson on the cover or in the headline. It seems WIRED’s version of the Red-Headed Stranger is one Elon Musk. This year, the Tesla CEO (probably better known as a hat salesman) finally launched the car company’s Model 3 and unveiled an electric big rig to much fanfare—and to much interest of the WIRED audience.

But it wasn’t just Tesla dominating the headlines. Hyperloop, popularized by Musk when he open-sourced his design for the high-speed tube train, also won the year, with Virgin Hyperloop One (not associated with Musk) making great strides in testing its technology. Though, there was one story where both Musk and Hyperloop made it into the headline—and of course it made our list of WIRED’s 17 most-read transportation stories of the year.

There’s plenty more on the list for people interested in the advances of other planes, trains, and automobiles, like this amazing story of a Delta plane taking off through a break in Hurricane Irma’s clouds, an octogenarian reinventing the railway in his backyard, and General Motors’ all-electric future.

The auto industry is rebuilding itself. Here’s a chart to keep you up to speed.

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—Jack Stewart, May 10, 2017

Max Schlienger wants to use vacuum power to get people where they’re going—and it has nothing to do with the hyperloop.

—Alex Davies, June 14, 2017

The USS Fitzgerald ran into the ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan, and human error is a likely culprit.

—Alex Davies, June 16, 2017

The long-delayed, over-budget jet had a lot to prove. And it put on quite a show.

—Jack Stewart, June 20, 2017

The bad news comes as Tesla’s stock price plummets amid concerns about the Model 3.

—Alex Davies, July 7, 2017

And now comes the hard part: reducing costs, improving reliability, and beating their competition to it.

—Alex Davies, July 12, 2017

Hyperloop One

Elon Musk says he has “verbal government” approval to build a hyperloop on the East Coast. Be skeptical.

—Aarian Marshall, July 21, 2017

Model 3 delivery day went off without a hitch.

—Jack Stewart, July 29, 2017

The company delivered the first 30 of its new “affordable” car on Friday.

—Jack Stewart, July 29, 2017

Tesla is taking weeks or months longer than promised to refund Model 3 deposits. Why so long?

—Robbie Gonzalez, July 31, 2017

And the future of transportation sounds a bit like a witch crying over a dead cat.

—Alex Davies, August 2, 2017

And what the temporary Black Rock City settlement has to learn.

—Aarian Marshall, August 27, 2017

NASA/NOAA GOES Project/Getty Images

Serious props to Delta.

—Aarian Marshall, September 6, 2017

The giant automaker will start with 20 new all-electric models by 2023.

—Alex Davies, October 2, 2017

After a collision at sea, the USS John S McCain needed a ride home.

—Alex Davies, October 10, 2017

Everything we learned about the big battery, specs, and range of Elon Musk’s most electrifying gamble yet.

—Alex Davies, November 16

Well, that kind of depends on what you mean by “trucker.”

—Aarian Marshall, November 17

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