OK, I am only speaking from my personal experience of buying a series of second, third and fourth hand cars (new cars depreciate so quickly and that is totally why I have never owned one) but it seems to me that Sweden lacks the whole ‘cruise control’ function.
My question is WHY? Cruise control is awesome. You just hit the button and you don’t have to constantly stare at your speedometer. What more do you need?
I know a whole lot of other crappy cars don’t have cruise control because, well, you get the single file slow down/speed up phenomenon. It drives me crazy. I pointed this out to the Swede and he was in total agreement – so it must be true.
This is what happens – You are driving down a single lane highway with a speedlimit of 55 MPH or 90 KPH if you are European. The car in front of you starts slowing down. They start going to 52, 50, 48, 45. This is because they are engaged in a fascinating conversation with the person sitting next to them and they are not looking at how fast they are going. Or maybe they are dancing to the music. Or maybe they are talking on their cell phones (why do Swedish laws still allow this craziness?). What is certain is that they are going slower.
So then the highway opens up with a passing lane – this is a typical Swedish thing where there are two lanes for a short stretch, so you can pass other vehicles. Smart right?
But no. Because something strange and psychological happens as soon as the second lane pops up. That car that slowed down to 43 MPH, that driver suddenly looks down at his speedometer and notices. Just as you go to pass, they hit the gas and start speeding up. They speed up to excess because they are embarrassed for slowing down so much. All of a sudden they are going 65 MPH and you end up sliding back behind them because they cut you off when the passing lane ends.
And then, they start talking to their friend again. And the whole stupid thing happens again until you gun it fast enough to just shoot past them and be done with the whole stupid thing.
This scenario would be cured with a little cruise control. The other driver, who obviously wants to go the speedlimit, but just cannot be bothered to drive, could hit the button and always go 55 MPH. No more speeding tickets. No more annoyed other drivers.
What is the downside?