What I don't comprehend is that importing a foreign automobile that isn't converted to comply with all the obscure rules regarding headlight height, and so forth is forbidden but millions of SUVs drive around that are completely incompatible with cars in an accident. How can the SUVs exist that don't comply with motor vehicle regulations? I'm told that they are "trucks". I don't care what they are called, they hit cars and should be designed accordingly. (I worry less about their mass and more about the fact that their bumpers seem to hit our windshields which bypasses the crush zones and vehicle protection systems.)
>> The problem is that everyone thinks they have some GOD given right to be on the road, when in fact only those that are alert and able to follow the rules should be.
The problem is this - we call it cars, and not MACHINES. If driving has been a trade where people are employed to operate that MACHINE, you will notice that most will not be qualified to operate that vehicle, yes drive. But it is a car and not a machine and that is why you have so many people causing problems on the road.
That is true - Google cannot make cars and no one should attribute that to them. What I see in the future is Google having partnership with car companies to modify some of their vehicles to be Google-ready and that means connect the tools you can have a self-driving car. The Bosch, TRW etc of this world have a new sector and anyone that wins the Google contract will have a great few decades.
>> As a driver of a small Honda Civic Hybrid, my primary concern about SUV's is the risk that their unwieldy mass will crush the vehicle that I'm driving -
That is a very valid point and the main reason why regulators are also looking at not just how far the SUV can protect its occupants but how less a havoc it could do to the other car in case of any accident.
I have heard about twizy, was looking forward to spotting one while in Paris this week...but never had the luck.
I didn't know about your having to rent a battery at a price Renault defined. What was that about?
The VLC is comming a bit late for the European market. The Renault Twizy (very similar eCar) is already selling at a pace of around 40 per month in France, 100 per month in Germany since beginning of 2013.
It's not yet mass production but it's encouraging when you know the totally stupid marketing Renault has developped for it: you have to rent the battery at a price defined by Renault so that the cost per Km is the same (or slightly more) as a gas vehicle !
By the way, in the Twizy you sit slighly higher, it's not a aerodynamic as the VLC but you "feel" safer. It's not yet authorized on high speed higways but should be in the coming month.