Re: GPS Car speed control advancing in UK

Date: Sat Feb 10 2001 - 05:29:24 MST

In a message dated 1/29/01 9:32:41 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

> Some of the more efficient aerodynamic cars get better gas milage above
> highway speeds than at the '55 mph' standard hyped in the '70's. Heck my
> grandpa's old Tercel got 5 more mpg at 80 mph than at 55 mph.

Very true. As I've bragged before, my 5.7 liter rocket sled gets its optimal
gas mileage at around 80 mph: With the windows up and air conditioner off
(only possible here in Texas in the Spring and Autumn), I get about 34 mpg.
Unfortunately, I've never been able to sustain speeds over 130 mph long
enough to determine when drag effects cause the fuel efficiency to drop back
down to that of more "normal" driving :-)

> 55 mph is
> not about gas milage, its about safety. With airbag and other improved
> safety technologies, higher velocity impacts are safer, so we can afford
> to get higher efficiency at higher speeds.

Yes and no. The problem is that above 60 or 70 mph, the impact (pun
intended) of driver ability begins to be increasingly important. People
(especially those most in need of it) are sometimes poor judges of their own
capabilities. Remember that recent study that showed that less intelligent
people tended to consistently over-estimate their intelligence, while more
intelligent people had the reverse characteristic? I daresay the same is
true of the kinds of athletic abilities required for high-speed driving. A
really "smart" transportation system would insert a little automation into
the mix to place an objective measure of judgment into the loop.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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