Google’s Self Driving Car

I read with a chuckle a letter to the editor in our local newspaper the other day about Google’s plan to introduce self driving cars to the North American car market. 

The letter writer was complaining that if there are self driving cars these “soul-less machines” will have no accountability and that one of them will drive up onto the sidewalk and kill your grandmother. And there will be nobody to say they’re sorry.


His argument reminded me of a Facebook post I saw that said, and I’m paraphrasing here – the great thing about science is that even if you don’t believe in it, it’s still true. Same thing applies to facts. 

See the facts and evidence in this case are that Google has had a fleet of self driving cars roaming around California that have logged more than 1,000,000 miles in the last few years. They are currently logging 10,000 miles a month.

In that time, the Google self driving cars have been involved in 11 collisions. None, none of which were the fault of the Google self driving car. None. 

The fact is that a computer controlled car won’t get road rage. It won’t run a red light because it is late for a meeting or late getting the kids to school. It won’t have an ego that will make it want to race the car beside it and it will not travel along on our city streets at 80-100 kmh.

If anything, the Google self-driving car will probably keep your granny safer than she is with humans at the wheel of the car.

Searching for the perfect family car

My long term readers will know that I have been searching for the perfect family car for quite some time. Yes, I have been searching for the perfect car for sale for quite some time.

Ferrari Maranello
Ferrari Maranello – not the perfect family car

You may recall my test drive of a Ferrari Maranello. Although the Ferrari had ferocious acceleration, the lack of back seat room was a real problem.

Add in the fact that it did not have cup holders and…well, so much as I wanted to, I did not close the deal on the Maranello.

You also might remember my ride with Ed Begley Jr in the Nissan Leaf. I have the same concern with the Leaf as I do with my mobile phone – battery life. Although I am still waiting to hear back from a local Leaf owner, he has told me anecdotally that battery life is not a concern.

I did not take the Hummer H2 out for a test ride, however I did do a walk-around and sit inside the surprisingly small Hummer wannabe. Horrendous fuel consumption and a serious lack of interior space convinced me to not even bother starting the beast.

That has all changed now; instead of going out on the road and wasting the time of car sales folk all over the Metro Vancouver area, before I go out to look for a car for sale I am doing a little pre-trip reading and research.

I have started to read and research via Autonet about the perfect family car. And guess which car is the next logical choice for me to test drive? The Mazda 5.

Truth be told though, I do not always like to take out the “logical choice”. Sometimes I do enjoy going for the more exotic rides on the road. I will keep you posted on what car is next for a test drive. Stay tuned.

Looking for Suggestions for the Next Family Car

Ferrari Maranello
Ferrari Maranello

I have not been out for a car, truck or motorcycle test ride for quite some time. What is the next car or truck that I should take out and test it to see if it could be the next Life In The Burbs family car?


Hybrid Gas Guzzlers


When you see these sorts of signs on the sides or rear ends of gas guzzling behemoths, what are your thoughts?

Do your thoughts change when you see a single senior getting in or out of the vehicle?

Do you wonder why they are driving such a large, gas guzzling behemoth?

Crowd Sourcing a New Family Car

As many of my followers know, I have been searching for a new family car for quite some time. I have taken a Ferrari Maranello for a test run, a Mercedes Serenity and I even had guest poster Lee-Anne tell her story of how they came to their decision to purchase a Kia Soul.

Ferrari Maranello
Ferrari Maranello

I have to admit, I am getting tired of trying to figure out what kind of car to take out next! Everything I recommend to my Sweetheart is overruled. I have no idea what to do. I have no idea what the nbext car should be…well, I actually do know but because it is coming from me, Sweetheart overrules my choice.

So here is my thinking; YOU can decide what car I should take out for the next test drive.

You can do a little bit of research to let me know which car you think would be the best car for my family. To do that research, visit AutoBlog for Canada car reviews, read up on the car you want me to take out and then in the comment section of this thread paste a link to the car YOU think would be appropriate as my next family car.

I will then do everything I can to do my Life In The Burbs-style review of the car or truck that my followers want me to take out. So over to you; what is the next car I should consider for the family car?

Family Car Search Hummer H2 Edition

In our continuing search for a new family car I ventured into New Westminster to Royal City Auto hoping that they had a Hummer H1 for me to test drive. Unfortunately they did not have the legendary original Hummer H1 so I had to settle for a look at a Hummer H2. Here is a look at my look at;

Jeff Gordon’s Chevy Camaro Test Drive

Seeing as I am still in the hunt for a new family vehicle, I quite enjoyed this little video about a guy named Mike taking a Chevy Camaro out for a test drive. A friend recommended that I take an original Hummer out for a test ride to see if it is what our family needs. Perhaps I can take some driving tips from this video?

Okay, so everyone is already picking this video apart saying it was all staged and blah-blah-blah. That doesn’t change the fact that it is a riot to watch.

The All-Electric Zero Motorcycle Test Ride

A good buddy and I, both of us avid motorcyclists, popped into the 2nd Gear Motorcycle shop to test ride the all-electric Zero Motorcycle. Kent Aubichon, Zero Motorcycles Canadian sales manager let us take the bike out for a little ride around the Coquitlam neighbourhood.

Here is a little video I shot of my impressions and observations about the Zero Motorcycle.

Final parting shots, the bike as equipped sells for approximately $11,000. It has a top speed of something like 140 km/h and has a city riding range of around 180 km.

As I said in the video, I need more acceleration power to get me into the saddle of one of these machines.

The Family Car Search Continues

For those who have been following our journey for more than awhile know that we continue to hunt for  new family car.

The first car I test drove did not have an adequate back seat.

The next car was too tall to fit in the car park.

Our guest blogger described the process her partner and her went through to find their family car.

You might think that we would be getting closer to finding our own new family car. Sadly, this is not the case even after I spent an afternoon investigating a new family car.

I did find my dream vehicle but I didn’t even bother taking my Sweetheart to see the new vehicle after watching her reaction to the pics I took of my dream vehicle.

Jeep For Sale
Jeep For Sale


Imagine the credibility any kid would have when they arrived at school with their uber-cool Papa in a military green CJ 2A.

Of course we would have to find and buy seats, a windshield, perhaps some kind of a roof/top like thingy for the inclement weather, new tires, and…


Of course showing Sweetheart this second photo basically sealed the no-deal… the words “Not running” do not help close a deal.

For Sale Sign
For Sale Sign



Randoms; Nissan Leaf test drive, how the French raise children and iPads in the classroom

Today I have a couple or three random things to post in one place. First, an interesting read in Macleans, one that I wish we had seen and read before we our twins came home to live with us.

Next random thing is my latest test drive. We took a Nissan Leaf out for a test drive. I edited the video down to just under 7 minutes. Have a look and listen.

And finally, iPads…the future of textbooks? Perhaps not. Did you know that every time you purchase a textbook it is a purchase for that ONE user. Whereas when a school buys a textbook they can use it year after year after year, the iPad textbook needs to be repurchased for each user.

Of course an iPad textbook costs approximately $20 whereas the paper copy is $70-$100 and the iPad text is interactive and can be updated easily. The paper copy can be used for 5, 6, 7 or more years and be handed from class to class. Say a $100 text is used five times, that makes the cost approximately $20 a year. Same as the iPad textbook cost.

Of course with a textbook you do have to carry the bulky thing around, typically in your backpack. But a backpack can be purchased for $20-$50 and that purchase is made by the student or the students’ parents.

On the other hand, an iPad textbook is much less bulky but has to be carried around in a, well, an iPad. That iPad costs between $500 and $1000. And that cost is carried by the school or school district.

So is the iPad textbook the way of the future? Perhaps for post-secondary students it is. I’m not sure that it is economically feasible for the K-12 system yet. Time will tell.