D is for Driving

googlecarI enjoy reading The Oatmeal Newsletter. A recent article, 6 Things I Learned from Riding in a Google Self-Driving Car, particularly tickled me.

“1. Human beings are terrible drivers.
We drink. We doze. We text. In the US, 30,000 people die from automobile accidents every year.”

As a regular pedestrian, I recognize this as irrefutably true. Even in the car, I see it. Recently, the Wife was waiting in the right lane on Holland Avenue in Albany, which was the straight lane. The driver of golden New York license FCW… was in the left turning lane. When the light changed, he blasted the horn, and passed us going straight. THEN he went through TWO red lights.

“5. I want this technology to succeed, like…yesterday.”

The writer points to the need of disabled people to be able to get around.
Oh, and speaking of cars, I never mentioned that we got a new car last year, a 2014 1/2 Toyota hybrid. The Wife was looking to get a 2011 or 2012 car to replace our 2003 Toyota Avalon, which we got in 2006. When it started stalling out regularly, and the non-regular maintenance costs started to skyrocket, a change became inevitable.

he wanted a hybrid because she drives a lot as an itinerant teacher. However, the recent hybrid models had depreciated so little, there was no real advantage to buying a used vehicle. Plus, the Wife negotiated a good price.

The first thing to get used to is how quiet it is when it starts up. It almost seems as though it’s stalling out when it stops at a traffic light. And it’s the first car we’ve had where one can see the vehicle behind when we park.

We’re getting over 40 miles per gallon, which is twice what we were getting from the Avalon.

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