Category Archives: Cars

Here’s looking forward to computers doing the driving

Way to go google…. Google gets Nevada driving licence for self-drive car
Here’s looking forward to computers doing the driving.

I want one, can’t afford one, but I want one

It’s been a dream to have a flying car, first off we were promised (yes promised) by science fiction writers of my childhood (and before then) that we’d all be flying our cars by the year 2000. Well, 2000 came and went, nothing extraordinary, 2010 came and went, again nothing to write home about. But now I see if I were rich enough I could have a flying car: Will sales of flying car take off?. I really love the folding mechanism, that’s pretty neat.

What I was wonder about these things is who would test fly one? Test drive, no worries, but test fly?
I think I’ll stick to land based transport for now, besides, the world comes to and end this year in the great flood doesn’t it?

I propose to scrap vehicle excise duty and increase fuel duty

I like sums, so let’s do a few based on my limited knowledge of the figures involved…
Average car mileage is 10K miles.
Average car vehicle excise duty is £150.
150 / 10000 = £0.015 duty per mile
Average modern car does 10 miles to the litre.
0.015 * 10 = £0.15 duty per litre.

15p per litre wouldn’t really impact the massive fuel pump price we have at the moment.
So I propose to scrap vehicle excise duty and increase fuel duty by 15p per litre.

This would have cost savings to government including
1. Wouldn’t need to police or prosecute people for no tax
2. Wouldn’t need to post the reminders / forms in the post i.e. delivery costs
3. Wouldn’t need to administer the scheme
4. Wouldn’t need to pay a cut to the post office for taking payment etc
5. Wouldn’t need to maintain a whole heap of webpages dedicated to it

Benefits to me
1. If I do less miles I pay less duty
2. Car drivers won’t be confusing the duty with road tax, so it will help equality on the roads between vehicles and bicycles
3…. there are more I am sure.

Benefits to the environment
1. Extra fuel costs makes people focus on doing less miles
2. Less paperwork and resources wasted

Small one-off costs
1. Closing the scheme
2. Changing the law
3. Retraining traffic police
4. A small number of job losses

Why did I write this post?
Lots of reasons, but mainly because I hate hearing “cyclists have no right to be on the road, they don’t pay to use the roads” come up as often as it does.

See also, a website dedicated to the misconception about the duty.

The big scary Smart car

Who would have thought it, a Smart car is scary?
I’ve developed an irrational fear of Smart cars.

I could end my blog post there, but there’s a reason behind this irrational fear, honest!

Whilst cruising down the main urban artery near my work the road is a 50MPH, it should probably be a 40MPH, most cars do that anyway. There are pedestrian islands in the middle of the hatched area between the carriageways (not seen any horses recently though). Now for most cars there isn’t enough room to go past, so the patient ones wait and then overtake using the hatched area in between the pedestrian islands, occasionally some idiots squeeze past when there really isn’t enough room. When these idiots go past one has to brace and be prepared to take any grids or pot holes as they come as there is no maneuvering space to go around them also the eject reflex is primed just incase. So, without knowing how big the overtaking car is I get freaked out when Smart cars overtake in this situation, of course there’s enough room for two of them to fit past 🙂

Unless it’s one of these: