I think we all know that fictional things usually mirror real life. Certainly that is true of simulations on the PC to a greater extent – they wouldn’t be simulations otherwise. Sometimes that fiction stretches to the possibilities for the human future – Star Trek has often predicted things that are now daily reality. Here’s a personal one…

Much of my driving in Euro Truck Sim recently has been in trucks with automatic transmissions. That’s how the real world is in Europe. In the US I usually drive manual because that seems to be a preference for a lot of privateer drivers that I see on YouTube – though it looks like some companies are going down the automatic road and buying Volvo VNL 670’s and the like. Obviously I’m only seeing the US market third hand so I’m making assumptions.

April 19th was a sad day for me. I consigned my beloved Peugeot 206 HDI to the junk yard. 17 years old and still sharp on her toes. We’ve surprised a few boy racers together over the last few years – I guess they made assumptions because she doesn’t say GTi on the back. Put a 2ltr turbocharged diesel in a very small car and… It’s a shame that she has to go but there is a need to consider all factors. There is a strong anti-diesel movement in the UK currently. This is because of the discovery that diesel engines produce more NO2 emissions than petrol engines and also a lot of particulates if driven hard. Road tax has been going through the roof for older diesel cars. As of May this year the MOT tests change and older diesels will be in the crosshairs of a regime that is intended to reduce pollution. Of course, the new rules will also affect owners of petrol vehicles and other areas relating to safety will be higher on the agenda. Unfortunately, like most changes to vehicle licensing, it will hit the less fortunate hardest. I’m lucky that I got a lump-sum on my retirement last year and was able to earmark money to replace the Peugeot – many poorer people aren’t in that position 😦

So how does this tie in with mirrors? Well in the case of computer game vs real life – I’ve been driving mainly automatic trucks in Europe and my new (secondhand) car is also an automatic. My good lady suggested getting an automatic a couple of years ago but perhaps didn’t expect me to take it on board. Now she’s on the spot because she’s never driven an automatic ever! I told her to practise on the computer 😉 For the record we now have a Skoda Fabia and it’s been a pleasure to drive so far – it hasn’t graduated to being a ‘she’ yet because I’m still getting to know it 😉 It actually has 20HP more than the Peugeot but as you know diesel’s are all about torque which is where the brisk acceleration used to come from. This new car has so much technology built in that I’m going to need another post in a while to tell you all about it but the experience built up driving automatic trucks on the computer has stood me in good stead because driving an automatic is a different technique to the manual. A gentle brush of the pedal when moving off and achieving 94-95% economy In my first few days of driving the car (according to the on board computer)!

So there we go – Life mirroring fiction! While I’m on the subject of mirrors though – there’s a big update due in Euro Truck and American Truck. One of the changes will be to the way the reflections in the mirrors of the trucks are implemented to make them more realistic. I’m guessing that’s gonna break the mods again so it’s time to park up Silver Dollar……Remember the problems I had with the FLB’s mirrors last time! But my Scania S in Euro Truck……shouldn’t be affected because she’s a part of the official game. Fingers crossed, the update shouldn’t affect the mirrors on my Skoda 😉 Otherwise I’ll have to take it back to the factory…

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