paranoidangel: PA (PA)

There's been talk about driverless cars recently, with Google bringing out one without any controls for humans to drive it with. What I keep wondering about them is whether they'll be able to manage roundabouts? They test these things in America, where they don't tend to have them, and people tend not to signal on roundabouts in particular.

I have quite a lot between home and work (eleven, if I've counted correctly, twelve on the way home) so I've seen a lot of terrible driving on them. There's one fairly small one with only four exits, at which most people go straight on. I've seen people going straight on who signal left or right.

There's one roundabout on my way home where I often have to stop to wait for people coming across from the right. Except actually they're turning left, they just didn't want anyone to know and made me stop to wait for them for no reason.

There's the roundabout where the right lane goes right, the left lane is for the other three exits. Most people go straight on. Some of them from the right lane and don't see a problem with getting off the roundabout from the inside when I am on their outside (my red car is clearly invisible).

There was a particularly good one in front of me one day when I left work early. They were in the right lane, then suddenly signalled left. I kept well back as they proceeded to go straight on.

I met an even better one last week on my nearest roundabout. My options are left and right. A lot of people at rush hour are going from my right across to my left (straight over for them). They don't slow down much and it's on a corner, so when you can't see a car coming you have to put your foot down until you're safely on the roundabout and out of their way. Someone was in front of me and turning left. There's only one lane on this roundabout (unless, bizarrely, you're going from left to right as I look at it). I came up behind them, saw there was nothing coming, put my foot down, then looked ahead of me. To see the car in front had gone to the left, but at the last minute decided to go right instead and I was now headed straight for them.

You can't tell me driverless cars are going to be able to cope with that.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

The last two weeks haven't been great in general, although there have been some good bits.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

Or a chauffeur, I'm not fussy. Anything that means I don't have to be the one driving.

This morning spent 35 minutes in a queue on my way to work. From the point where I hit the queue I could have walked to work and got there at the same time. It was all caused by the river flooding and people slowing down (on a 60mph road!) to look at it. There are quite a few roundabouts around and people feeding in from elsewhere and going off elsewhere, so it caused chaos.

When I crossed the river I got excited about making it into second gear. I got a good look at it while I was stationary and I can tell you that all the news reports are correct - it's flooded. As it does nearly every year around here.

I can't not drive to work because rather than my 20 minute drive I'd have to do a 15 minute walk, a 20 minute bus journey, then a 30 minute walk. The bus would cost me more than it costs in petrol. And with the bus only going once an hour, in reverse, if I left on time I would miss it by about 10 minutes. This is all because I work in a village.

This evening I'm off to Rotary in a pub in a village (so no buses there either). I'm not looking forward to the journey because it's somewhere I haven't been before (which I don't like), down narrow roads (which I hate) and in the dark (there's no street lights). I am taking Tpm Baker (my sat nav) with me for comfort, maps and pointing out when I'm near to the pub.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

For ages at work I've been sharing lifts with someone else. Well, I say sharing lifts, but she didn't drive, so I drove and she paid me petrol money. But now she's passed her test and bought a car, so today I went on my own. Which was weird. I kept thinking I'd forgotten something. On the plus side I get to leave the house five minutes later, get home five minutes earlier and I am listening to last month's Big Finish Doctor Who release. But suddenly having to pay twice as much in petrol is less good. I worked out that the bus is now cheaper, albeit only just and does take four times as long - if I got it, I'd have to leave the house half an hour earlier and I'd get to work half an hour late. So then I'd have to stay at work half an hour longer and would get home an hour and a half later - which wouldn't be in time for me to go out to well, anything. So there's certainly something to be said for driving to work.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (PA)

I think it's the 'Wear Sunscreen' song that says to do one thing per day that scares you. Yesterday I did that thing - I drove into the city for the evening, rather than getting the train. It takes about the same amount of time and costs about the same in petrol as a train ticket. But because I live fifteen minutes walk away from the station and it's not a walk you can do in the dark, my choices were either to pay £6 to park at the station or £9 to get a taxi back. Whereas parking in the city was £2.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from my blog.

Parking

Jul. 30th, 2010 09:00 am
paranoidangel: PA (Default)

Our (unofficial) work car park is small and has no lines printed on it. After living somewhere where the parking spaces were really narrow, I tend to feel that if I can get out of the driver’s side easily I’ve parked too close.

This morning I parked perfectly: I had to get out the passenger side.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (Default)

I swear there is some sort of conspiracy against me by the god of petrol. If the petrol’s going up, then any time I think about getting petrol but don’t for some reason, it goes up 1p the next day. If petrol’s going down, then any time I get petrol it goes down 1p the next day.

I thought about getting petrol the same day every week to get around it, but I don’t need petrol every week. I do try and fill the car up when I’m down to half a tank, but that’s mainly on the basis that the pumps aren’t designed for people with small hands and any longer holding it really makes my hand hurt.

I’ve been meaning to buy petrol all week, especially as yesterday it went down to three eighths of a tank (my petrol gauge comes in eight discrete units). I finally managed to buy some this morning, on my way to work. I passed the petrol station on my way home and the petrol’s gone down 1p.

There must be some sort of god waiting for me to think about/buy petrol just to change the price, it’s the only explanation.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (Default)

I don’t like Wednesdays – although this is generally because nothing interesting happens on a Wednesday. Today turned out to be more interesting than I would have liked.

When I got to my car after work it was horribly hot, so I set off with the windows down – and realised there was a dragging noise somewhere in the vicinity of the left side of my car. I’d just been on that side and hadn’t seen anything, but I was just in the right place to pull over into a spare space in a layby. And discovered that my left front tyre was as flat as a pancake.

Since this has never happened to me before, my first instinct was panic. And then ring the RAC. So they said they’d be about 45 minutes. So I cleared the rubbish out of my boot so they could get to the spare wheel. Today would be the day that I’d forgotten my book. But I thought I’d stay with the car while it cooled down. Which it had, quite nicely, by the time they rang me an hour later to tell me it could be another hour…

At which point I went back into work on the basis that I needed food, drink and a toilet. At which point I realised I was carrying a bag containing five cereal bars, two 200g bars of chocolate and two jars of pasta sauce. Not that you can eat pasta sauce on its own, but I certainly wasn’t going to starve.

Since I wasn’t there, this meant that the RAC man dropped off his last job round the corner and was therefore at my car before I was. In fact, by the time I got there he had the jack under it and was in the process of taking the wheel off.

He couldn’t find anything that caused it. And he remembered that he’d just seen a tyre place around the corner that I’d forgotten that existed. So I will be paying them a call tomorrow morning, and doubtless handing over larger sums of cash than I planned to spend this month.

It turns out that the spare wheel is horrible to drive with. I had always just assumed that all five wheels were the same, but not. This one is smaller. You can’t go above 50mph, but I wouldn’t want to. Apart from the fact that it smells of new tyre, once you go fast it sounds terrible going along the road, and makes the steering wheel and pedals vibrate.

And all that time I spent hanging round the left side of my car (which I rarely go to) made me notice how scratched it was. It took me a while to remember that was caused by Tuesday last week when I drove into a hedge. So at the weekend I’ll be taking it to Tescos for a wash and then see about polishing or painting it, depending on what makes it look more cared for…

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (Default)

Considering that I don’t like driving and given the option would far rather not, I can’t quite believe I’m going to say this but… I really want to be able to drive to work.

I’d be warmer, I could leave later, so get up later, so get more sleep, I could listen to the radio (I haven’t heard Chris Evans at breakfast yet and I’m missing the Five Live guys with the news on my way home). It wouldn’t matter if I left a few minutes late, I would have to slide over so much snow, I would spend ages waiting for a bus and I could leave work whatever time I liked (well, after 5.30pm obviously).

I can’t drive at the moment because although the main roads are fine, I’d have to park down a side road, which aren’t so great. My road isn’t great and to make it worse, I’d have to turn my car round 180 degrees, it’s currently on a slight slope and there’s a pile of snow behind it because it’s been parked there ever since we had the heavy snow Tuesday night last week. And most importantly, having experienced driving on snow once I’m not desperate to try it again.

It’s supposed to be a lot warmer from tomorrow (where a lot warmer means above freezing) so hopefully there’ll be lots of melting going on. But I am so sick of the snow.

Mirrored from my blog.

paranoidangel: PA (Default)

I was thinking about the differences between my new, two year old car and my old, twenty year old car, and all the things that are now standard that seem new to me.

So there’s automatic choke, 5 gears, back windscreen wiper, electric windows, electric wing mirrors, central locking, point and click key.

But there are other things you can get too, if you spend more money, like air conditioning, parking sensors, heated wing mirrors, 6 gears, sat nav, buttons on the steering wheel to control the radio. Basically a whole load of things you’ll never use but will go wrong and beep at you.

I vaguely remembering hearing on Top Gear years ago about an S type Mercedes, I think it was, that knows how close you are to the car in front and essentially drives for you.

So that makes me think. In twenty (or more) years time, what’s going to be standard in all cars? All of the above, plus not running on petrol. And probably ability to plug your ipod in directly and control it from the radio. Can anyone think of anything else?

Mirrored from my blog.

October 2017

M T W T F S S
       1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom