Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Cruise Control Running Lights

Solid blue running lights that let other motorists know you're using cruise control.
  (+28, -2)(+28, -2)(+28, -2)
(+28, -2)
  [vote for,

Ever since I have embraced the use of cruise control, I've noticed a phenomenon:

Some jack ass that can't maintain a steady speed gives me a dirty look as he passes me for the fourth time. After he passes, he invariably begins slowing down again until I'm faced with the choice of passing him again or slowing down. Of course, as I pull into the fast lane, he speeds up to match speeds. As drivers intent on exceeding the posted limit by scalar quantities hover mere inches off of my back bumper, I reluctantly speed up. The idiot on my left chooses to do so, as well, so now I am forced to turn on my left directional and slow down (assuming the line of cars behind me has not switched lanes to pass me on the right).

More than anything, I want to yell over a loudspeaker something along the lines of "You are the idiot, not me". However, if cars were equipped with blue running lights that were activated by using the cruise control, it would be apparent to this idiot, and all the other idiots out there, that he was, indeed, the one incapable of maintaining a steady speed.

MikeD, Oct 30 2008

Blue light ... http://en.wikipedia...Cherenkov_radiation
.... with side effects. [8th of 7, Nov 02 2008]

Blue Star Sapphire http://jewelry-blog...-different-view.jpg
Another Cherenkov radiation-like stone. [MikeD, Nov 03 2008]


       These lights are slung under the car? And neon? And pulse at a stately frequency somehow calibrated to your speed? So that a properly functioning highway is a pulsating vein of blue light?
GutPunchLullabies, Oct 30 2008

       I'm with you on some kind of indicator, but blue lights are generally reserved for law enforcement. Red is brakes and law enforcement, yellow is running or turn, white is for the night...   

       What does that leave us?
normzone, Oct 31 2008

       Green or purple. I vote purple.
Texticle, Oct 31 2008

       Even more distinctive, green AND purple, alternating.
normzone, Oct 31 2008

       A pair of small green lights, one each side, high up in the rear windscreen. [+]   

       Green lights are often used by medics.   

       // green AND purple, alternating //   

       Guaranteed to cause nausea.
8th of 7, Oct 31 2008

       Cruise unmissable.   

       3 buns? Hmmm. It would appear that changes have been made. The breakdown zipper would appear to be setting new records.   

       I'm still partial to blue. I think there wouldn't be a problem as long as they weren't flashing. I was thinking also maybe an LED display in the rear windshield so other motorists can decide whether or not they want to cruise with you.
MikeD, Oct 31 2008

       What if I leave cruise control on but use the cruise control buttons to increase and decrease my speed. You may start wondering if something is wrong with your speedometer or mine :)   

       My solution to the original problem is to bump up my cruise control speed by 1 mph for a while when I pass someone who is going nearly the same speed I'm going and to bump it down when someone passes me very slowly. It improves the situation quite a bit.   

       Having lights would be good too [+]. I wonder how many jerks might see them, pull in front, and intentionally slow down just to be jerks.
scad mientist, Oct 31 2008

       I like blue as well, but laws may vary by country and state. In California, always-on blue is used on the rear of police motorcycles. They frown strongly on it's use on civilian motorcycles.   

       But I've seen it's use ignored by law enforcement when it's between a tractor and a trailer.   

       I envy the cruise control users. My life style is more stop and go.
normzone, Oct 31 2008

       Green and purple are reserved for indicating, to the deaf, that you have a huge exhaust, a phat sound system, and no taste whatsoever.
david_scothern, Oct 31 2008

       OMG, I never get the chance to do this.   

       sp: you're   

       For the idea, a multibun. I do a lot of driving on wide, flat Western highways and I always use my control and inevitably this will happen to me. I would install a set of these on my car tomorrow if I thought it would help.
Noexit, Oct 31 2008

       [+] I too am annoyed when someone is tailgating, especially when there are cars in front of you and there is no place to pass. What I do when they gets too close is slowdown gradually, then I speed up quickly and create a good size gap and hold the speed. When he catches up, if he tailgates again I repeat the slowing down and speeding up and see how long it takes for him to catch onto the game.
theGem, Oct 31 2008

       Good catch, [NoExit]. On a summary statement no less!   

       [theGem], shifting into second gear whilst letting off the gas, can be quite effective as well. It slows you down about as fast as a firm brake check without the warning of brake lights. Sometimes I like to waggle my car back and forth in the lane as if to "Shake them off my ass".   

       Are you all seeing an abnormal amount of buns and bones on the posted ideas? Or is it just my computer?
MikeD, Oct 31 2008

       ya know, it's probably not illegal to put a few blue LED's on your car yourself, without waiting for it to be a standard... I'd go with a slow flashing though, instead of solid blue, at least until it becomes a standard.
FlyingToaster, Nov 01 2008

       [Mike D] Jutta is having a bit of fun for Halloween. Happens every year.   

       // Neither green nor purple are particularly good for the colour blind. //   

       Yet another whiny minority wanting to be pandered to ....   

       // blue of Cerenkov radiation //   

       Ah yes..... soooooo beautiful ....
8th of 7, Nov 02 2008

       <asking for trouble> How about a display (LED, e-paper, whatever) on the back, saying "I'm cruising at ..."? /<aft>
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 02 2008

       Not to say that you're an idiot...   

       However, I must suggest that attempting to set cruise control for driving in traffic is somewhat idiotic. Setting cruise control for a precise set speed is difficult due to variabilities in spedometers and the setting mechanisms, and driving at a constant speed in the variable speeds experienced in most traffic situations tends to be unsafe.   

       In light traffic, and on long stretches of road, I suppose I can see the benefit of knowing some other car is on cruise control, but an individual who varies their speed in traffic is not necessarily the idiot.   

       Not to say that you're an idiot...
ye_river_xiv, Nov 02 2008

       // variabilities in spedometers and the setting mechanisms //   

       The variability in speedometers can be nullified by using GPS as a velocity reference. And since any "error" in GPS will affect all vehicles in a given area, such errors will tend to be self-cancelling.   

       (We now use GPS exclusively as our velocity reference in ground vehicles and find that installed speedos are generally pretty inaccurate)   

       As to the setting mechanism, all that's needed instead of the usual "On", "Cancel" and "+/-" buttons is the ability to dial in an actual speed. Given the plethora of digital displays in modern cars, it's probably already baked on some high-end models.
8th of 7, Nov 03 2008

       [River], I'm not saying a varying speed is indicative of idiocy, but it is one of many symptoms.   

       // blue of Cerenkov radiation //   

       <reverie> Ahhhh. </reverie>
MikeD, Nov 03 2008

       Why not get a nice big lump of Cobalt-60 ? Available now from a Mexican scrap dealer near you ....   

       // <reverie> Ahhhh. </reverie> //   

       Yes, it's quite common ..... invariably seen when a few rounds get loosed off in the far distance, and Staff officers decide they would be better off somewhere a bit further to the rear .... that blueish glow as they accelerate towards .99C is unmistakeable.
8th of 7, Nov 03 2008

       What if someone fakes it?
kamathln, Nov 03 2008

       There's a certain misplaced self righteousness about cruise control usage. Under all but the most boring conditions i can beat it for fuel economy (hard to not go slightly faster than efficient on the long straights) and i enjoy actively controlling my car, after all, to the same extent that others can be irresponsible, you are responsible. If you desire to drive as passively as possible, and find interacting with other drivers, obstacles, and road conditions unpleasant then I propose you "leave the driving to us" and take a bus.
WcW, Nov 03 2008


//Red is brakes and law enforcement, yellow is running or turn, white is for the night... What does that leave us?//

       Anti-missile flares would be visible as hell, and no one in front of you would likely slow down.
ldischler, Nov 03 2008

       //certain misplaced self righteousness //   

       No, no. It is right where I wanted it.   

       I want to be away from other drivers because that is the safest place to be. However; I have learned enough in my less scrupulous days to still surprise a motorist with a misplaced sense of skill (or two).
MikeD, Nov 03 2008

       not clear on the insinuation there mike. Language was a little obtuse. Are you referring to cruise control drag racing? Nimble use of heel and resume? Daring low traction cruise control drifting? Synchronized drafting? help a fellow car enthusiast out here.
WcW, Nov 04 2008

       The real beauty of cruise control is that it's a safer way to switch drivers without stopping the car. You don't have to do that tricky gas pedal foot transfer to the new driver. The CC keeps it right on 90 mph, too bad it doesn't hold the wheel straight.
theGem, Nov 04 2008

       // safer way to switch drivers without stopping the car //   

       Actually .....   

       It's easiest done in a Land Rover with a hand throttle.   

       Procedure for R/H drive Land Rover:   

       1. Current driver sets hand throttle.   

       2. New driver climbs over bulkhead and sits in centre seat with legs to right of gear levers and handbrake.   

       3. Navigator (passenger seat) takes hold of steering wheel. Driver states "you have control". navigator responds, "I have control".   

       4. Driver slides upwards and backwards out of driving seat into cargo space, assisted by rear passenger.   

       5. New driver slides along seat into driving position, takes wheel, positions foot on throttle. Navigator states "You have control". Driver responds "I have control". Navigator releases wheel.   

       6. Driver releasses hand throttle.   

       The Navigator can be relieved of duty by a similar procedure, but without formal control handover.   

       An alternative procedure involves the Navigator steering while another crew member operates the gear levers, hand throttle and clutch for the centre seat while the driver is swapped over the bulkhead. This may be necessary in busy traffic conditions where changes of speed and gear are required but requires extensive crew training to achieve effectively and unobtrusively.
8th of 7, Nov 04 2008

jaksplat, Nov 05 2008


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