Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Smart Cars

Smart Cars are portrayed as a solution to the traffic problems of Europe's cities. Rather than walk, cycle or use public transport, you can drive to your destination and park in a space just big enough for it -and nobody else. Which works, provided nobody else has a SmartCar. Because once the vehicles become popular: no more parking spaces.

There are some other limitations of the vehicle. They still create traffic jams, they still block junctions, their fuel economy is pretty mediocre, especially at speed, as the overreved 4-cylinder engine will sound like a mini metro running flat out at 73 mph. This is why Daimler-Benz would prefer you to own a C-Class mercedes for the out of town trips. The SmartCar is the town-toy.

What a SmartCar does do, and this is a feature, is park sideways. This has many benefits. As well as letting you sneak into the smallest places left in the city for parking, you get to inconvenience all bicycles trying to get down the road. So by parking your SmartCar you not only show to the world that you can park where you like, you get to get one up on all those bikes that cut you up by running red lights. Revenge is something to savour!

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