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StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

I know the Garmin NuVi we have in the car allows it to be fiddled with while in motion, and it doesn’t care which seat you’re in.

My father was 38 years older than me, and recalled when automatic transmissions came into common use, roughly late 1940s, early 1950s. His argument against them is similar to my argument against GPS devices: They make it easier for people who shouldn’t be driving in the first place to get behind the wheel of a car and attempt to go someplace.

The logic is reverse-directed. Then: People who can’t operate a clutch shouldn’t be driving an automatic. Now: People who are already confused in getting around shouldn’t be having a machine tell them where to go.

Granted that’s rather spartan, but if adhered to, would surely take a whole lot of traffic off the road.


mr marvelous
Participant
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The GPS I was talking about are in-dash factory installed.


salty
Participant
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I don’t really agree on either count Stu – if neither of those things existed we’d still have just as many people driving.

I think GPS can be a safety enhancement, if used them properly. Personally, when I’m going somewhere unfamiliar, the GPS reduces my stress level and the distraction of spending time looking at street signs and other location cues trying to figure out where to go. IOW it lets me focus more attention on the road, not less.

And, IIRC recent Garmin units do default to “don’t allow any changes when moving” and you have to explicitly disable the lockout. I believe some in-dash units do not let you disable the lockout.


wojty
Participant
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If only overriding that lockout carried some sort of legal action in event of an accident…

Haven’t heard of gps records from a standalone being used in court, only cell phones.


ejwme
Participant
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I don’t know, I agree with the transmission thing, disagree with the GPS thing… The GPS, when used as a substitute navigating passenger directing turns in predictable ways, is good. Automatic transmissions allow the user to sit back and just push little levers and point the little wheel.

Manual transmissions require the user to pay a little more attention to the vehicle and the road and the interaction between them, requiring a little more focus on the task at hand. In time, a certain amount of that interaction becomes a habit, but it’s not the same as mechanically automatic – instead it becomes a habit to consider the grade of the road and listen to the engine and consider the gearing and speed and stopping distance, etc – good habits.

Manual reading of the map requires divided attention – and yes, should only be done with the car at a full stop (but is much easier to do while moving than GPSs with idiot-proofing in place).

I’ve been trying to think about biking and if there’s a comparable analogy, but I don’t think there is. Friction shifters aren’t the same as manual transmissions, and i’m not sure there’s a comparable “automatic” state to ride a bike in.


Jacob McCrea
Participant
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EJ, I couldn’t agree more regarding the manual transmissions. I’ve almost always driven manuals and they seem to make me a better driver for the reasons you point out. We might see a lot less texting if they were more common. As for the GPS, I think you are also correct.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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EJ, I couldn’t agree more regarding the manual transmissions. I’ve almost always driven manuals and they seem to make me a better driver for the reasons you point out. We might see a lot less texting if they were more common.

i don’t know about that. i think we’d just see more people texting while shifting.

“a common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”


ejwme
Participant
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dude, text while shifting? I wish I were that dexterous. then again I can’t even use my knee to steer (even in an automatic).

total tangent: I’m often jealous of radially symmetric beings – when they have appendages they’re always so much more dexterous than our little arms and legs. Starfish larval forms are bilaterally symmetric, so sometimes I wonder if we pupated, we could likewise become radial and multi-appendaged. But we’d have to design a bicycle for that. Could be neat.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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total tangent: I’m often jealous of radially symmetric beings – when they have appendages they’re always so much more dexterous than our little arms and legs. Starfish larval forms are bilaterally symmetric, so sometimes I wonder if we pupated, we could likewise become radial and multi-appendaged. But we’d have to design a bicycle for that. Could be neat.

i like tangents: radially symmetric beings usually have no skeleton, and thus have no proprioception. that is, they can’t tell where there limbs are unless they can see them. so an octopus may look more dexterous with its eight limbs, but for most of its limbs, it doesn’t even know what they’re doing.


edmonds59
Participant
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I love having proprioception! It’s one of my favorite things.


ejwme
Participant
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sometimes I feel like I have no proprioception as it is. I’m not sure, but it might be worth the trade off. But I’d want a minimum of 6, maybe more like 8 or 10 nicely dexterous tentacles. Any fewer and it’s just not worth having to pupate and loss of proprioception. I wonder if they can like set them to a task and then look away, continuing on with that task – can they put their limbs on “automatic”?


reddan
Keymaster
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I wonder if they can like set them to a task and then look away, continuing on with that task – can they put their limbs on “automatic”?

You mean, like to start eating popcorn (or M&Ms (or, in extreme cases, a multi-pound bag of dried pineapple)) whilst watching TV, then to realize you’ve unwittingly consumed the entire thing?

Gee, I wish I had that ability. Oh, wait…


ejwme
Participant
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exactly, but we have proprioception that should help us keep on the task. Without it, tiny variations in our movements alone could prevent us from reaching into the bag or even grabbing pineapple – just thinking ahead if I pupate and become a radially symmetric tentacled creature, could I set a couple limbs working pedals to a pedalcycle and still keep my eyes on the road, or would I have to design the pedals to be within view of the road.


rsprake
Participant
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People smoke and drink while shifting, why not text. It’s easy, just take your hand off the wheel.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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rsprake – just use your elbows – who needs hands! The car practically drives itself!


stefb
Participant
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Use your adam’s apple!


reddan
Keymaster
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would I have to design the pedals to be within view of the road.

I suspect one could find an existing pedalcycle design that would meet such needs admirably. Somewhere.


salty
Participant
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I’ve always driven manual transmissions but I have no illusions that doing so makes anyone a better or more attentive driver. It’s not like it requires continuous action on your part – for the most part it’s a couple of shifts when you start off and then it’s all the same.


ejwme
Participant
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reddan – exactly my thoughts as well, a Big Wheel! ;D

salty – you’re lucky to be mostly driving on the highway then. city streets I find I pay a lot more attention, especially some of the hills I hit. I fully admit, even in a diesel, there are some roads I won’t travel on in one direction because I hate the hill start. I do constantly assess my route, the terrain, the gages. Maybe I’m weird, I’m ok with that.


erok
Keymaster
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this goes into effect maƱana


Benzo
Participant
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So this is in effect now.

After reviewing the law, it only prohibits text based communication for drivers of motor vehicles. So, I’m assuming this hasn’t been codified this as an offense for cyclists at this point?

Although, I’m trying to imply it’s a good idea.


erok
Keymaster
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Huzzaaaah!


erok
Keymaster
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WTAE’s crack investigative team caught this guy on day one


rsprake
Participant
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Ha ha. You can clearly tell that he is dialing a phone number or typing in a URL, NOT texting. Duh.


Marko82
Participant
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Yea, stop doin that!


Pseudacris
Participant
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Apparently in California now, you are not even allowed to *touch* you phone. And, you have to be 18+ to use a hands-free device.


mr marvelous
Participant
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If you look closer at the law it covers everything except dialing, including internet, Facebook, texting, managing apps etc.


Benzo
Participant
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What about using voice to text and text to speech via a handsfree headset?


mr marvelous
Participant
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I don’t think hands free is illegal.


ejwme
Participant
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Look Ma, No Hands!

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