Friday, July 8, 2011


Posted by Vishnureddy at 6:38 PM

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Last year a woman living down the street from me backed out of her driveway as if she were Danica Patrick, without so much as glancing behind her to see if there were any Spandex-encased middle-aged men on vintage racing bikes tooling down the road just then. It turned out there was one, and let me just say that an SUV hood makes a surprisingly cushy landing strip. My brief flight through space and time inspired me to think about this sort of alarmingly frequent stupid driving trick—specifically, how things like this should by now have been rendered obsolete by automation.
I am plenty familiar with the arguments against giving up direct control of our cars. I personally eschew power windows and locks, never mind automatic transmissions, and I proudly raise my Alfa Romeo’s convertible top manually. (For a great upper-body workout, try raising a top at 20 mph. For a great YouTube video, try it at 30 mph.) In fact, I 
wish my car had more things for me to do manually. I would happily set flaps, trim sails, position heat shields, and load torpedo tubes if only those features were available for my model year. No, I want everyone else’s cars to be highly automated, so they will stay out of my way when they ought to.

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