Monday 5 December 2016

Riddle of the cube at the wheel; traffic bans loom; what we really, really want in our cars

Shortcuts with Eddie...

Published 13/07/2016 | 02:30

Rubiks Cube
Rubiks Cube

Every single day I see people lighting up at the wheel, drinking scalding coffee with one hand while steering and so on.

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I know from your emails and contact that you do too on a regular basis. It can be crazy sometimes.

But have you ever come across anyone trying to solve a Rubik's Cube when driving? No, me neither.

But apparently it happened recently. In Manchester of all places.

A man videoed a woman driving her Toyota Corolla on a highway fiddling away energetically with the cube.

Not alone that... she SAW the man videoing her and passed absolutely no remarks.

The man said she kept on trying to solve the puzzle for "several more miles".

You'd wonder what in God's name she was thinking. How did she manage to avoid causing an accident?

I don't think we'll ever solve the puzzle of what makes some people so stupid when they are driving.

And there is more to the 'cube woman' story. The police department says it does not investigate reports it receives via social media.

Work that one out for yourself.

**Let me know about the weird-at-the-wheel behaviour you have come across.

* Paris has a ban on vehicles built before 1997.

It is in place during weekday daylight hours It's all about "reclaiming" the city for pedestrians and bikers.

Oslo will ban cars from its downtown area completely by 2019.

Several other cities have partial bans/heavy penalties on taking your car into town - such as London.

After sampling several European cities this year, including London and Paris, I have to say it is hard to make a case against some sort of curbs in major conurbations.

And that stretches to Dublin and parts of our regional cities. But those making the plans need to be ultra sensible and think long-term.

Like the Rubik's Cube, it isn't an easy one to sort out but we need it to be supplemented with a real choice of public transport. I'd hate to see cars banned and no real alternative available. Cities such as Munich make you think seriously about bothering to take the car when you can get a day ticket across all sorts of public transport for half-nothing.

* It seems we are far more interested in having smartphone connectivity and aids that help us park than we are about having our cars safety supplemented with new technology.

A survey of more than 1,200 people by What Car?/Autocar also revealed that we are not that interested in watching television in our cars.

Nor does wirelessly charging a device make our day.

Definitely low on our priority list, the survey suggests, are safety systems such as lane departure warning.

The report adds they are "among the least sought-after technologies in new cars".

And even further down the pecking order are speed limit warning and blind spot monitoring functions.

**Any opinions on what you'd want in a new car?

* The great old Land Rover Defender may not be finished quite yet. There are reports that billionaire chemicals tycoon Jim Ratcliffe is in talks with the company to explore the possibility of resurrecting the icon.

I'd say that would get a round of applause from a lot of people.

Indo Motoring

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