Nestled in the small city of Molsheim, France is the place where one of the most advanced automobiles in the world comes to life. The sequel to the 268 mph Veyron, the Chiron is even more complex, requiring over 1,800 individual parts to build. In charge of assembling them is a team of just 20 people, who get to work in a special space at the company's headquarters.
Dubbed the "Atelier" and shaped like the company logo, it offers more than 1,000 square metres of pristine work space, with glossy white flooring and a striking design worthy of such an exclusive creation. 12 stations take the car from powertrain to fully-realized supercar, with only one electronic tool in use — a system that lets you know a nut has been tightened with the proper torque.
Once the monocoque and the rear end have been joined, the fluids filled, and the wheels installed, the car is rolled over to the rolling dynamometer. It's all-new for the Chiron, as the old one couldn't handle the increased horsepower, and sits in its own room, with its own ventilation system for vehicle cooling and pollution control. After that, it's time for installation of the bespoke interior and a test drive.
Before delivery, each car undergoes a cosmetic preparation that takes two days, then heads to the light tunnel. Inside, it's given an intense, detailed inspection that takes more than six hours. If it passes that inspection, it's presented before a team of executives who give final approval before handing the keys over to the owner. With a total production time of roughly two months, it's clear that the Chiron is a work of painstaking craftsmanship and engineering, and one of the few cars in the world to truly earn the title "super".
We've been promised flying cars for decades. Turns out they might be coming, just not with you behind the wheel. Uber Elevate is the rideshare company's initiative to move beyond the road and into the sky. Headed by new hire and longtime NASA engineer Mark Moore, the system will use vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft to carry passengers from place to place. Not meant to replace traditional airlines, the system is instead being designed for distances of 50-100 miles — just long enough to make a car ride unsavory, without necessitating a trip to the airport. While autonomous flight is the obvious goal, Moore says that human pilots will be relied upon when the service first comes online, hopefully within the next three years.
Imagining a future where phone's don't even need screens, the Alo Phone is an intriguing concept. It was created by French designers Jerome Olivet and Philippe Starck and is crafted from an aluminum unibody coated in natural resin. The combination works to provide haptic and even temperature-based feedback, and also allows the skin to repair scratches and scrapes automatically. An advanced AI is built into the phone, getting rid of the need for a screen by responding to your commands, reading texts it detects with its camera, and letting you respond to emails and texts in your natural voice. Currently just a concept, Olivet is working with Thomson to create a working prototype.
Don't listen to the press — they don't know how many books you've read. While George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is an undisputed literary classic, and also served as the basis for the greatest television ad of all-time, its themes of public manipulation and government surveillance seem especially poignant in recent days. Despite being first released in 1949, it's currently the best-selling book on Amazon, and its publisher just ordered another 75,000 copies. These first-editions are likely to become even more collectible as the years go on, but if they're a little more than you typically spend on dead trees, we'd recommend the recent Penguin Modern Classics edition, with a cover design from David Pearson that's among the best we've ever seen.