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Archive for April, 2009

Drag Racing

Just for kicks — though also an interesting period piece of suburbia, with relatively few cars in each driveway, etc. I somehow imagine this as a Fountains of Wayne or Weezer video, or some such. Excellent amateur cinematography, no doubt much harder then than it would be now.

(thanks Chris — who also points out the 35 mph limit for a narrow, unlined streets with lots of “butt racing” kids)

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Posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 1:04 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Things I Didn’t Know

Photo by Hidesax/Flickr

I just came across this kernel about Tokyo, a city I’m always plotting to return to:

“The elevated expressways make it possible to traverse the city by car, but the average speed is only 15 km/h. That is if you have a car, because anyone who wants one has to prove they have their own parking space. Parking on the street is forbidden, and with an average street breadth of 4 m, often quite impossible.”

This comes from the book Mobility: A Room with a View, the catalog to the 2003 International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam (OK, so I’m slow getting to it), which I picked up not long ago at the bookstore of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (along with William Stout in San Francisco, one of the world’s best shops of that theme). It’s a mishmash, like all catalogs, but for mobility types there’s much on offer, including an essay on the aesthetic mandates for the autobahn during the Third Reich and an essay with the incredibly tempting title “The History of French Motorway Design.”

But back to Tokyo; I’d be curious to know more about the parking legislation. When did it pass? Was it a result of the narrow streets, or some other force? Has the law influenced urban form, vis a vis house construction? Are there more parking garages per capita in Tokyo than elsewhere?

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Posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 7:20 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Does a Forward-Facing Bike Light Increase Rear Visibility?

A driver has been exonerated in Australia for striking a cyclist because he did not have a front-facing light and was, in the words of the magistrate, “an accident waiting to happen.” There’s just one thing: He was struck from behind, and he was sporting a rear tail-light.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Bob Anderson submitted that a headlight was not relevant because Mr Angel was hit from behind.

He said if Mr Angel was found to be wearing the yellow jacket, there would have been sufficient reflective material clearly visible by cars.

“A flashing red light was displayed on the victim as required by the road rule,” Sgt Anderson said.

So far, so good.

Defence lawyer Jon Irwin submitted that a cyclist riding in darkness required a headlight, rear light and reflectors on the bike.

After hearing six prosecution witnesses and two defence counsel witnesses, Magistrate Terry Wilson found Mr Angel failed to equip his bike with the requirements.

“If he had a (front) light it would have projected 200m in front and Ms Jasper could have picked up a bike was on the road,” Mr Wilson said.

This I find a bit hard to swallow. Firstly, I can’t say I ever spotted a cyclist from behind by dint of their front light. Secondly, maybe I’m using the wrong light, but there’s no way the beam projects 200 meters — it spills a (very) little light on the pavement about 15 feet of me. But maybe others out there have had a different experience?

(Horn honk to Treadly)

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Posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 7:04 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Connectedness

As the above map, from the New Scientist, shows, a remarkable extent of the world is now covered in roads.

In fact, very little of the world’s land can now be thought of as inaccessible, according to a new map of connectedness created by researchers at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, and the World Bank.

Relatedly, I was sent a link to an interesting looking new film, Division Street, by Eric Bendick, which seems to deal with the presence of roads in the landscape and the environmental implications.

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Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 3:05 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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The Car Garden

As an American land art enthusiast I, like many others, have spent hours trekking down desert roads to get Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, Michael Heizer’s Double Negative, or Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels, but Tom Merkel’s insane, insipred Car Garden, 1200 cars (and whatever was inside of them at the time they were acquired) out rusting on a California hillside, was new to me.

Via Car and Driver:

The major conglomeration, though, is a mile-long, four-lane clot of cars that snake through the garden with some precision. That’s the Lost Highway.

“The massive 20th-century time-capsule monument project, the Lost Highway, came about by happenstance,” he told me in a long handwritten letter (he doesn’t own a typewriter or a computer). “My folks had both died when I was 21, and to fill the emotional void, I had compulsive preservation . . .

“The four-lane, mile-long time-line traffic jam, vignettes, et cetera, are very much a massive time capsule from the 20th century—and a very honest one in that it’s honestly representational . . . . After all, everyone didn’t drive Mustangs, woodies, and ’34 Ford hot rods in the years following World War II as the movies would lead us to believe. Yet that’s all the young kids get to see.

“The work in progress is basically the 20th-century equivalent of the Chinese clay soldiers,” he rambled forth, referring to the astounding Terracotta Army of more than 6000 life-size statues uncovered by peasants in 1974 that for 2200 years have guarded the massive tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang near the city of Xi’an.

The Lost Highway is “a deliberate ruin, a cultural time capsule of sorts, a celebration of Southern California auto culture intended for the study and enjoyment of generations to come.

Its location is rather jealously guarded, though things magazine throws down the gauntlet to find it on Google Earth. Anyone got the coordinates?

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Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 12:26 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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World’s First Photo Enforcement Murder?

Via the Arizona Republic.

The shooting prompted both companies that operate photo-enforcement programs in the area to pull the mobile units from highways and roads while they reassess security measures.

(Thanks Ed)

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Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 10:56 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Driving Ethics

From The Journal News in the Hudson Valley (via Streetsblog), a bill to require that drivers stop and see what they have hit:

In response to a hit-and-run accident on Interstate 390 in Livingston County that resulted in the death of a 20-year-old woman in 2007, the Assembly Transportation Committee will consider a bill this week to require drivers who hit something to stop to check what they collided with.

Kaitlyn Charity, a student at the State University of New York at Geneseo, was walking on the side of a highway in the town of Groveland on Oct. 21, 2007, when she was struck first by a tractor-trailer, and then by two smaller vehicles.
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None of the drivers who hit Charity stopped to see if they hit a person, but all three checked to see what damage was done to their vehicles, Livingston County Sheriff Jack York said.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 9:07 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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I Love Traffic

Tired of Tetris? Wish you could time the signals to your own design? You can play a traffic management game here. I haven’t had a chance to play yet myself but I’m curious how complex it gets — Dallas phasing, anyone?

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Posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 8:09 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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J.G. Ballard, R.I.P.

Photo by Normko/Flickr

J.G. Ballard, the prescient, controversial bard of Shepperton, has died at age 78.

It is a huge loss, but as consolation we did not lose him four decades earlier, as he described in this article in the Times of London.

In 1970, I began to write Crash. This was more than a literary challenge, not least because I had three young children crossing Shepperton’s streets every day, and nature might have played another of its nasty tricks. I have described the novel as a kind of psychopathic hymn, and it took an immense effort of will to enter the minds of the central characters. In an attempt to be faithful to my own imagination, I gave the narrator my own name, accepting all this entailed.

Two weeks after I had finished, my tank-like Ford Zephyr had a front-wheel blowout at the foot of Chiswick Bridge. The car swerved out of control, crossed the central reservation and rolled onto its back. Luckily I was wearing my seat belt. Hanging upside down, I found the doors had been jammed by the partly collapsed roof. The car lay in the centre of the oncoming carriageway, and I was fortunate not to be struck by approaching traffic. Eventually I wound down the window and clambered out.

Looking back, I suspect that if I had died, the accident might well have been judged deliberate, at least on the unconscious level. But I believe Crash is less a hymn to death than an attempt to buy off the executioner who waits for us all in a quiet garden nearby. Crash is set at a point where sex and death intersect, though the graph is difficult to read and is constantly recalibrating itself.

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Posted on Monday, April 20th, 2009 at 12:33 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Feet on the Dashboard

The warmer weather this past weekend brought out a summer car ritual, one that admittedly is on my large list of car-culture pet peeves — things like stuffed animals in the rear-window ledge, or vocoder-heavy R&B (can we call for a moratorium on this device, please?) played at top decibel on my street.

I’m talking about feet on the dashboard. OK, yeah, call me uptight, neurotic, etc., but I tend to be rather repulsed by the site of bare feet in a public environment that isn’t the beach. Maybe it was those hacky-sack players on the quad in college. In business class to New Delhi I had to gently rebuke the passenger behind me, a kindly businessman who nevertheless saw fit to rest his unadorned foot on my armrest, just behind my elbow. The profusion of “mandals” leaves me cold.

But with alarming frequency one will spy, in the neighboring lane, a pair of bare feet propped up on the dashboard, or even dangling out the window (of the passenger side, of course; when you see this on the driver’s side, it brings up a whole other level of concerns). The phenomenon seems to tilt, demographically, towards a male driver and a female passenger. Again, call me uptight, but if there’s one thing I don’t want on my car’s interior surfaces it’s the oils, exfoliated skin, fungal detritus, etc., of someone’s feet. But the real issue, of course, is airbag deployment. When activated, airbags burst forth at around 200 MPH (and remember, you’ll be going forward), with tremendous loads that get higher the closer one is to the airbag. According to one study:

For example, at a distance of four inches from the airbag face to the chest plate, the deploying airbag exerted a maximum load of 912 pounds when released. In the slow motion video clip captured by Dr. Kowalski’s high speed camera, one can clearly see the chest plate on the fixture bow upward as the airbag pushes against it.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to picture what would happen to one’s legs if driven forward at such speeds and loads by an airbag; I don’t have statistics, but there must be numbers on injuries caused by airbags due to non-standard seating arrangements, or some such.

I looked in my copy of Accidental Injury: Biomechanics and Prevention, by Alan M. Hanum and John W. Melvin, but found nothing on the subject of airbags and feet. I did find, however, this rather sobering passage: “A laboratory study by Lau et al (1993) examined the potential for injury from out-of-position anesthetized swine with deploying driver airbags… splenic lacerations were the most frequent abdominal injury, often extending through the thickness of the spleen.”

It’s not a direct comparison, but extrapolating from this it seems like nothing good is going to happen if a crash were to occur and your feet were propped up at eye level — whether you were wearing shoes or not.

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Posted on Monday, April 20th, 2009 at 11:40 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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The High Risk of “Low” Speed Roads

I came across this interesting graph in a new report from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, with the lengthy title “Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan Volume 23: A Guide for Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes.”

I was struck by the substantial percentage (the second-highest of all road forms) of speed-related fatalities on “low speed,” non-interstate roads. I am not sure what the percentage of pedestrian fatalities were, nor the speeds of impact involved (something would be far from exact in any case), nor do I (or anyone, really) know the exact differences in exposure for driving on local roads versus high-speed highways.

But I took the figure as a sign of what sort of issues were at stake in things like the recently mentioned Prospect Park West Road Diet (in Brooklyn), which now seems to be moving forward.

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Posted on Monday, April 20th, 2009 at 7:19 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Unintentional Traffic Calming

From the BBC: “An Essex parish council wants potholes to be left unfilled for longer to act as a “natural traffic calming” measure.”

This doesn’t shock me, as this is actually the natural state of affairs, through benign neglect or otherwise, in New York City — take Chambers Street, for example, a buckling roller-coaster of a ride in lower Manhattan. I’m of two minds about it, as, first, they are annoying; but second, I do notice the slowing effect (also from those big metal plates the utility companies throw on the street), which is useful in pedestrian heavy areas (i.e., most of the city). And I myself know the potholes and know when to slow down, and have thus never damaged my vehicle. How many insurance claims are filed against the city? How many are successful? What’s the burden of proof? Is the time and money that goes into filling them the best use of social resources (particularly when drivers are undercharged for the road-wearing driving they do)?

(Horn honk to Christian)

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Posted on Sunday, April 19th, 2009 at 1:15 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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SCOUT

This morning, a few days after seeing a Google Street Maps car (massive camera attached) in the West Village, I saw another odd vehicle: One of those little Grumman things the police use (though apparently they’re going to get some BMWs, but this one had flashing lights and, displayed prominently along the side, “Street Condition Observation Unit,” with a jaunty acronym SCOUT. It was the first I had seen of it, though it’s apparently been around a while. As it happens, it was sitting in a chunk of bike lane on Union Street that’s been worn away for a number of months. Speaking of worn-away bike lanes, what happened to the strip on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway? What’s the lifespan of striping in NYC anyway? Idle thoughts for a Friday afternoon…

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Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2009 at 12:17 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Pink Lines

Following up on my earlier post about parking for expecting mothers (we know them well in these parts), I came across this Korean oddity: Special “women only” parking spaces.

The “pink lines”, painted pink, are 2.5 meters wide rather than the standard 2.3, offering aid to women drivers unskilled at parking.

I’ll reserve comment, as my jaw seems stuck to the floor.

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Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2009 at 7:23 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Traffic Advisory

Other journalistic engagements have tied me up recently, so apologies for the slow pace of posting, the diminished Level of Service, which should continue a bit longer.

On other fronts, I’m going to shortly begin a not-quite-named transportation-related column for Slate. It will cover essentially any form of getting from point a to point b, from Shinkansen to Unimogs to personal hovercraft to traditional bipedal arrangements. I’d love any suggestions for story ideas (including studies, etc.) at: info@howwedrive.com.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 at 5:13 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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‘Portion Distortion’ and the American Road

I’ve recently been reading a number of papers by Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, and author of Mindless Eating.

One of Wansink’s more interesting findings is that the way food is served to us affects how much of it we will eat. He calls this “portion distortion.” Not only does the size of the portion itself affect how much we will eat, but so too does the size of the container it comes on (or in).

This seems to happen even to highly educated health professionals; in one study, he found they ate 31% more ice cream when it was served to them in a larger bowl (with a larger spoon, their consumption went up by more than 12%). In another experiment, people given larger containers of popcorn in a theater ate more than those given smaller containers — even when the popcorn was stale (though the affect was reduced when the popcorn wasn’t fresh — i.e. larger containers boosted consumption by 45.3% with fresh popcorn, and by 33.6% when it was stale). This effect typically seems to happen without people being aware of it.

It’s not difficult to imagine the public health consequences of this, particularly as the American obesity epidemic seems to roughly track a number of changes Wansink has identified in portion size. To wit:

We find portion distortions in supermarkets, where the number of larger sizes has increased 10-fold between 1970 and 2000. We find portion distortions in restaurants, where the jumbo-sized portions are consistently 250% larger than the regular portion. We even find portion distortions in our homes, where the sizes of our bowls and glasses have steadily increased and where the surface area of the averaged dinner plate has increased 36% since 1960. And if our bowls, glasses, and plates do not distort us, our recipes will. In the 2006 edition of the Joy of Cooking, the serving size of some entrées has increased by as much as 62% from some recipes in the first edition of 1920.

One problem (there are others), Wansink suggests, is that the feedback loops begin to fray with larger portion size: The larger the portion size, the less accurate the estimation of calories consumed becomes.

What does this have to do with the road? There is an interesting story in how the rise in portion size — often associated (as Wansink notes) with fast-food restaurants — historically tracks the huge increase in miles traveled (183% growth in per-person miles from 1969 to 2000, a period in which the number of persons itself increased only 41%), which itself is associated with the rise of those same restaurants; not to mention the much-debated work linking obesity to density and travel modes.

But I had a different comparison in mind: The way the size of our roads affects our behavior in “consuming” them as drivers. This was brought home to me again in a recent video made by a group called Park Slope Neighbors, which is working to reduce the size of streets like Brooklyn’s Prospect Park West (a five-lane thoroughfare, two lanes of which are dedicated to parking). As the video below shows, the speeds on the street are routinely in excess of the 30 MPH limit. What makes this particularly worrisome is that across PPW lies Prospect Park itself, and there is thus a steady march of pedestrians (including many children). I’m often struck as a driver by how many people are blowing past me; and, just from personal experience, I see more red-light running on this street than others in NYC.

The one thing I rarely see on PPW is the street used to its full capacity by cars. So in the 90% of the time it’s not hitting that full peak (my own wildly rough estimate, NYC DOT, please feel free to weigh in with actual numbers!), it is treated more like an urban highway, with speeds of 45 (or higher) mph not uncommon.

When I took my U.K. driver’s test in the suburb of Pinner, near London, I was intrigued by how, on several local roads, I often had to pull over to let another driver past, so narrow were the residential streets. This is something I can’t remember ever having had to do at home. In the U.S., talk of narrowing roads often leads to the reflexive question “What about emergency response?” Somehow, England manages to have these roads without suffering from a rash of people dying in house fires (needless to say their traffic safety record is better as well; as a friend who did some consulting for the Department for Transport recently told me, somewhat amazed, ‘they actually seem to really care about reducing the number of people killed on the roads’).

One of the recommendations for Prospect Park West is to put it on a “road diet,” a deeply suggestive phrase in light of Wansink’s research. A separated bike lane would be a great place to start — and would reduce the frequent cases of cyclists using the adjacent sidewalk. But something has to be done to change the context of the street. Underutilized by cars much of the time, it is an inefficient use of urban space, and its capaciousness sends a set of powerful signals to the driver, more powerful than whatever speed limit signs may be present. It represents, to paraphrase Wansink, “mindless speeding.” People drive fast because it feels like they should. They see a wide road, and don’t give themselves much time to see anything else.

And to return to that notion of feedback loops. Wansink noted that with larger portion sizes people became less well adept at judging their calorie consumption; I haven’t seen this study (or maybe I have and have forgotten), but I suspect that the higher speed at which one drives, the less able one is to accurately judge one’s speed. Just a theory.

Sure, we could post yet more signage. We could put increased police patrols along the way. We could run expensive ads showing people what happens to pedestrians when struck by vehicles at 20 mph versus 30 mph. But as Wansink writes, in the context of eating, “it is much easier to change a person’s environment than to change their thinking.”

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Posted on Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 at 3:58 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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The Three-Feet High Club

From the BBC:

A man faces a hefty fine and a driving ban after being caught having sex with his girlfriend while speeding on a motorway in Norway, police have said.

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Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2009 at 9:16 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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‘What Does It Allow Us to Ignore?’

The philosopher Jacques Ellul once posed “76 Reasonable Questions to Ask About Any Technology,” one of them being: “What does it allow us to ignore?”

In a typically good essay in the WSJ, titled “Machines That Won’t Shut Up,” Christine Rosen raises Ellul’s question in the context of any number of devices that we now talk to, or that talk at us. Some, of course, are driving-related:

When the Canadian technology company IMS recently began selling iLane — a hands-free device that links to your BlackBerry and allows you to use voice commands to open, listen to and respond to your email while driving — it likely fulfilled the wishes of many a time-stressed commuter. According to Discover magazine, the average U.S. city commuter now loses 38 hours every year to delays caused by traffic. ILane offers its users the alluring promise of making safe and efficient use of that time, with the bonus of feeling like Captain Kirk issuing orders from his command chair.

The demonstration video featured on IMS’s Web site shows a stylishly dressed businessman responding to iLane’s overtures about a new email as he cruises along a tree-lined boulevard. “What would you like to do?” murmurs iLane, in its uxorious synthetic female voice. “Check messages,” says our hero, briskly. And he does, with abandon, scheduling appointments, confirming travel arrangements and returning phone calls, his hands never straying from the steering wheel. The company’s marketing materials tout the device as “a true technology breakthrough in personal productivity.”

But there are problems, as Rosen notes:

And there are reasons for concern, too — not least the effect on other aspects of life as those strange artificial voices compete for our attention and require us to enter feedback loops normally reserved for, well, actual human beings.

Their claims to safety notwithstanding, for instance, technologies such as iLane are potentially dangerous distractions for drivers. The research on multitasking is clear: Even when we use hands-free devices for our cellphones, there is something so deeply distracting about carrying on disembodied conversations while driving a car that the National Safety Council has recommended a ban on all talking and texting activities behind the wheel.

What these technologies seem to allow us to “ignore” is the drudgery of the everyday act of driving, as every added bit of multi-tasking leaves us with less cognitive resources for the varying demands of the road.

Rosen’s essay reminded me of some interesting work by Stanford University communications researcher Clifford Nass, who has been studying the dynamics at work in driver-car communication.

One finding:

In tests of volunteers driving automobile simulators in the lab, researchers put their subjects into stressful situations and tested out potential responses from the voice. For example, some drivers received a reproachful warning: “You’re not driving very well and you need to pay more attention.”

“Well, you won’t be shocked to learn that people got angry and actually drove worse,” laughed Nass as he told the story. As the voice ratcheted up its rhetoric (“You really need to be more careful!”), the driving deteriorated further. Finally, when the voice began insisting that the drivers pull over to the side of the road, they responded by getting into accidents.

Nass contends that we can’t help but respond to an in-car computer voice as if it were human; this itself raises all sorts of concerns, like when BMW was having trouble with its 5-Series “voice,” as apparently drivers didn’t like taking directions from a woman (why a person would want yet more chatter in their life is beyond me, but that’s another story).

The gender stereotypes that tripped up BMW also have come through loud and clear in Nass’ experiments, to his dismay. Volunteers are more likely to perceive a male voice as authoritative, even when male and female voices speak exactly the same words.

But if we perceive the car voice as human, which voice should it be?

After deciding that the new voice in the BMW should not be the car itself (as in the TV series Knight Rider), Nass and his colleagues considered other candidates—a golf buddy, a chauffeur, a pilot (dominant and not very friendly) and a person riding “shotgun” (talkative, not very smart)—before settling on a co-pilot, who could take over when the driver was in trouble but who understood that the driver (the pilot) was in charge. The chosen voice was male, somewhat friendly, and competent. He was a hit.

I didn’t see this particular bit studied, but I’d be curious to know about how people’s reaction times vary to a “voiced” warning versus a beep or a whistle, etc. Is there more “processing” that goes on because we do understand it as human?

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Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2009 at 7:33 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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The Seven Words You Can’t Say on Saudi License Plates

From the BBC:

Saudi Arabia has banned vehicle licence plates which are seen as “offensive” in English when Arabic letters are given in the Latin alphabet, reports say.

Saudi newspaper al-Watan said the banned words included “sex” and “ass”, but the list was topped by “USA”.

Al-Watan said 90,000 existing plates were to be replaced.

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Posted on Sunday, April 12th, 2009 at 1:41 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Connecting the Dots

Photo by Patpatz/Flickr

On a drive to Palo Alto this morning on the 101 South, I couldn’t help notice that inexorable feature of California highway life: “Botts’ Dots.” I knew that they were named for CALTRANS engineer Elbert D. Botts, but I wasn’t aware of their curious historical lineage, via this article:

Raised reflective pavement markers capture light from oncoming headlights and reflect this light back to drivers for guidance at night and in weather with poor visibility. They are a familiar feature on many California freeways. Their origins can be traced to the ingenuity of British civilians trying to cope with the imposition of blackouts during bombing raids in World War II. Night drivers were required to shield the top of their headlights with blinders. This drastically cut down on the night drivers’ vision on the roadways. Someone came up with the idea of placing reflective markers on the roadways which would be visible only to drivers. These were soon nicknamed “cats’ eyes” because of how they appeared to drivers on the darkened roadways.”

Curiously, as the story goes, the “rumble strip” aspect of the dots — i.e., they would alert a driver if he was drifting across lanes — was an unintended benefit.

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Posted on Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 10:34 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

Please send tips, news, research papers, links, photos (bad road signs, outrageous bumper stickers, spectacularly awful acts of driving or parking or anything traffic-related), or ideas for my Slate.com Transport column to me at: info@howwedrive.com.

For publicity inquiries, please contact Kate Runde at Vintage: krunde@randomhouse.com.

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U.S. Paperback UK Paperback
Traffic UK
Drive-on-the-left types can order the book from Amazon.co.uk.

For UK publicity enquiries please contact Rosie Glaisher at Penguin.

Upcoming Talks

April 9, 2008.
California Office of Traffic Safety Summit
San Francisco, CA.

May 19, 2009
University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies
Bloomington, MN

June 23, 2009
Driving Assessment 2009
Big Sky, Montana

June 26, 2009
PRI World Congress
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

June 27, 2009
Day of Architecture
Utrecht, The Netherlands

July 13, 2009
Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals (ATSIP)
Phoenix, AZ.

August 12-14
Texas Department of Transportation “Save a Life Summit”
San Antonio, Texas

September 2, 2009
Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting
Savannah, Georgia

September 11, 2009
Oregon Transportation Summit
Portland, Oregon

October 8
Honda R&D Americas
Raymond, Ohio

October 10-11
INFORMS Roundtable
San Diego, CA

October 21, 2009
California State University-San Bernardino, Leonard Transportation Center
San Bernardino, CA

November 5
Southern New England Planning Association Planning Conference
Uncasville, Connecticut

January 6
Texas Transportation Forum
Austin, TX

January 19
Yale University
(with Donald Shoup; details to come)

Monday, February 22
Yale University School of Architecture
Eero Saarinen Lecture

Friday, March 19
University of Delaware
Delaware Center for Transportation

April 5-7
University of Utah
Salt Lake City
McMurrin Lectureship

April 19
International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (Organization Management Workshop)
Austin, Texas

Monday, April 26
Edmonton Traffic Safety Conference
Edmonton, Canada

Monday, June 7
Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Wednesday, July 6
Fondo de Prevención Vial
Bogotá, Colombia

Tuesday, August 31
Royal Automobile Club
Perth, Australia

Wednesday, September 1
Australasian Road Safety Conference
Canberra, Australia

Wednesday, September 22

Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s
Traffic Incident Management Enhancement Program
Statewide Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wednesday, October 20
Rutgers University
Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
Piscataway, NJ

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre
Injury Prevention Forum
Toronto

Monday, May 2
Idaho Public Driver Education Conference
Boise, Idaho

Tuesday, June 2, 2011
California Association of Cities
Costa Mesa, California

Sunday, August 21, 2011
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Attitudes: Iniciativa Social de Audi
Madrid, Spain

April 16, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Gardens Theatre, QUT
Brisbane, Australia

April 17, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Centennial Plaza, Sydney
Sydney, Australia

April 19, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Melbourne Town Hall
Melbourne, Australia

January 30, 2013
University of Minnesota City Engineers Association Meeting
Minneapolis, MN

January 31, 2013
Metropolis and Mobile Life
School of Architecture, University of Toronto

February 22, 2013
ISL Engineering
Edmonton, Canada

March 1, 2013
Australian Road Summit
Melbourne, Australia

May 8, 2013
New York State Association of
Transportation Engineers
Rochester, NY

August 18, 2013
BoingBoing.com “Ingenuity” Conference
San Francisco, CA

September 26, 2013
TransComm 2013
(Meeting of American Association
of State Highway and Transportation
Officials’ Subcommittee on Transportation
Communications.
Grand Rapids MI

 

 

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