February 23, 2009

Pay attention to what the Fuel Gauge says!

It was the best of luck, it was the worst of luck: today, en route to salsa lessons (nothing better than dancing away the Ottawa winter blues!), I ran out of gas halfway up a hill on King Edward - almost directly across from a gas station. I was operating under the (evidently false) assumption that the angry blinking indicator really meant that I had about 30 km of good driving left before my ride puttered out on me.

Which brings me to ask - we have indicators that display external temperature, speed, and cumulative distance. We have GPS systems and radar warning systems and anti-lock brakes. Why not tell me exactly how many liters of gas are sitting in my tank? After all, if we want to encourage those hypermiling gas-sipping compulsive optimizers, we should give them all the relevant data.

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