Classic Cars and Self-Driving Cars Coexistence?
From 2021 self-driving could be allowed on to UK roads, according to the Department for Transport (DfT). These autonomous vehicles will have a feature known as Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS), which will "enable drivers ... to delegate the task of driving to the vehicle. When activated, the system keeps the vehicle within its lane, controlling its movements for extended periods of time without the driver needing to do anything. The driver must be ready and able to resume driving control when prompted by the vehicle." (DfT website, 18/8/2020)

According to an article in the 11/11/2020 edition of Classic Cars Weekly, the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has been given the assurance by the DfT that these ALKS vehicles will not stop classic cars from using UK roads.

This assurance is vital given that alleged visionaries such as Bob Lutz claim that in 20 years "Everyone will have 5 years to get their [human-driven] car off the road or sell it for scrap" (Automotive News, 5/11/2017).

Fortunately there are still some strong voices arguing the case of classic car enthusiasts and car enthusiasts in general: It is not just about getting from A to B (that is what we have public transport and taxis for, albeit that public transport needs drastic improvements and better affordability in many areas), for a car enthusiast it is about the experience of the journey itself.

Claims that self-driving cars are safer have been debunked by Matthew Crawford in his highly recommended book "Why we drive". The accidents observed in modern-day traffic are largely down to a refusal by drivers to concentrate on traffic, and rather spend time on stupid "smartphones" (sic). The classic car insurance industry is realising this, too, and organising panel discussions (18/1/2018) to address classic car enthusiasts' concerns.

There will also invariably be deskilling among users of autonomous vehicles, making situations in traffic worse, especially when a current generation autonomous vehicle needs to hand control back to the driver. What if that driver has lost the knack of driving because of a lack of practice?

These and many more questions need to be debated and carefully considered by policy makers to not inadvertently destroy a very profitable industry living from classic cars, not to mention destroy the hobby of millions of people across the globe that enjoy owning, driving, maintaining, preserving automotive history (not cheap!) and simply showing off their pride and joy to the appreciating public.

The Climate Change and Classic Cars Debate
As a classic car enthusiast I see my hobby under serious threat thanks to the on-going political developments in Europe and Britain around climate-change policies thanks to some misguided efforts. Let me explain:

Consider the following:
Buying a brandnew Tesla every 5 years (and not owning it, because most people couldn't afford one, so lease one instead, and those lucky few that can buy one outright, usually do so to show off their wealth to the Joneses) and then using it for every single journey (school drops, going shopping, work commute, holidays, visiting friends, etc.) must be more environmentally friendly than owning a 40-year old Mk1 Scirocco that I passionately drive as a hobby for hardly more than 1.5k miles per annum, and otherwise walking to work, the shops, using trains to go to cities for shopping/sightseeing, not flying to far away holiday resorts or going on cruises, and being a vegetarian, right?

Spot the irony, folks. But it is precisely this irony that our politicians across the EU and Britain are embarking on to penalise those like me, treating us like the same people that use heavy SUVs, pickup trucks and other types of environmentally-questionable vehicles, which is grossly unfair. Even when compared to those oh-so eco-friendly Tesla (and other electric car) owners.

Again, let me explain with a few facts:

It is with great wonder that I ask the following questions to those who demonise my classic car hobby by treating me the same way as all the normal car drivers, all those eco-youngsters, the Greta Thunber brigade and Extinction Rebellion folk:
  • How often do you buy a new mobile phone?
  • How often do you shower each week?
  • How often do you go anywhere by plane, and what is the distance?
  • How often do you eat meat?
  • How often do you email, use social media, or use the Internet for anything (streaming videos, music, organise all thos demonstrations that you seem to have time for?
  • How often do you use your mobile phone?
  • How often do you buy new trainers, cloths, for whatever reason?
  • How often do you bring your kiddie to school by car? No, it's no excuse that it isn't safe. I used to walk and cycle to school every day in my days, when we still had proper winters, and got no mercy from my parents, I just had to do it, and guess what? I survived, and no, crime wasn't lower back then, if anything, it was higher!

Let me tell you something. All the above activities consume CO2.
Instead of all the kneejerk reactionary politics that our elected politicians seem to be able to dump on me, all of which have the effect of penalising good citizens like me, treating me like all the others who do all of the above regularly, I propose a much fairer system to cut our CO2 emissions:
Allocate an annual CO2 budget to each citizen, young and old. Each citizen can then choose how to use up that budget each year. So whether you use it for CO2-expensive flights or cruises, or go watch motorsports (yes, they, too, carry a CO2 price), or buy a new house, new cloths, new shoes, new car, new furniture, whether you go skiing, heat the house, go out eating, make that schoolrun by car, commute to work by car, or use the train (usually has a lower CO2 price than a car) anything, it all will reduce your budget until you run out. Once you run out, that's it. No penalties (because the rich can afford these), it's game over. Harsh? Yes, but a lot fairer than the shambles that our politicians are proposing now.

Examples of shambles/kneejerk reactions that affect people like me (directly or indirectly):
  • Dutch government reduces speed limit on motorways (that's highways to US folk) from 130km/h to 100km/h (wtf?) As a car enthusiast this is torture, and besides a highly questionable measure, resulting in only a 0.34% reduction of CO2!
  • Australian bush fires, and a coalmining friendly prime minister, wtf, has he not got it? Thanks to assholes like him, I have to suffer with my car hobby! Get rid of him, NOW!
  • Oh, there's Trump, that asshole maniac coalmine-friendly twat, too, nearly forgot, thanks you wanker (that's masturbator, you US folk!), for killing my car hobby!
  • The German climate package. Their great idea is to greatly increase taxes on fuel. So that will solve all problems, will it, Merkel? At least there is a little bit of resistance coming from car enthusiasts there. Sign up, if you can. Oh, and avoid any associations with that right-wing loony party, the AfD, who are already trying to cash in on all car enthusaists' heart-felt pains. The AfD are against foreigners like me (if as a Dutch citizen I wanted to live in Germany, life wouldn't be quite as easy as being a German, "Deutschland den Deutschen", now where have we heard that one before?). AfD=Nazis! Get rid of them, NOW. Take Trump and Morrison with you. Send them into space, where nobody can hear them scream. Oh, and take all their loyals with them, earth will be a better place, trust me.

So what about data protection in my proposal? Well, what about it? Our privacy has been sacrificed at the altar of social media a long time ago, remember? You do use social media, don't you? Store cards? Mobile phones? If yes, forget your privacy.

Do I sound like an angry person? You bet! Greta, move over, you've got one seriously angry person here, far more angry than any puny little teenager can ever be!

All I want is to enjoy my hobby. I already live in a my humble opinion very eco-friendly way, so I don't want to be penalised in the same way as those that do all of the things listed further above, which I don't do. Hence the CO2 budget would be a much fairer means of actually doing something good for the climate.

Some interesting articles from various sources:
Goodbye, and love!
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