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The War on Cars - the Internet and Social Media Will Eventually Restrict Autobahnen

This text has no other way to start than reminding a story from when the internet and social media were not as popular as they are today. In 1994, a McLaren F1 owner had to service his car. The technician told him the vehicle surely had something wrong because the electronic diagnosis tool indicated that it drove multiple times at more than 300 kph (186 mph). The owner laughed: it was true and, above all, legal. This F1 owner used an Autobahn. Only a few people know about this.
Bugatti Chiron, Radim PasserBugatti Chiron, Radim PasserBugatti Chiron, Radim PasserBugatti Chiron, Radim PasserBugatti Chiron, Radim PasserShowing full-speed runs in Autobahnen will eventually restrict these roads
Fast forward to 2022, what we see is people fighting for attention on the internet. Not only with extraordinary deeds but sometimes with shocking or plain stupid attitudes. As long as it is recorded, it will hit YouTube. Anything will. With Autobahnen as the stage for some of these episodes, stories like the one you read above will probably never happen again: the internet and social media will eventually restrict these roads with no speed limits.

Questioned by Associated Press about a recent stunt in one of them, the BMDV (Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr, or Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport) said that it “rejects any behavior in road traffic that leads or can lead to endangering road users.” It also said that anyone should “only drive so fast that the vehicle is constantly under control.”

Associated Press was very specific in its question: it wanted to know what the BMDV thought about Radim Passer reaching up to 414 kph (257 mph) on a stretch of Germany’s A2 Autobahn between Berlin and Hannover. The media outlet did not talk to the Czech millionaire, but it grabbed a quote from his video description that said: “Safety was a priority, so the circumstances had to be safe to go.”

Luckily, it did not quote the part that said that the video was shot “for you to feel the excitement in the Chiron, but also to consider a relationship with Jesus, who brings true love, joy, and hope to anybody who comes to Him.” It could have been suggested that the fastest way to meet Jesus is in a Bugatti Chiron at 414 kph. But it came close.

Associated Press said that Passer “placed his faith in more than just his driving skills during the stunt” by quoting another part of the video description: “We thank God for the safety and good circumstances, as we were able to reach the speed of 414 km/h!”

Joking aside, that’s precisely the concern Associated Press had when it asked the BMDV about the stunt. The article compares what Passer said in the video description to the conditions the footage actually showed: it states the Bugatti was “seen passing several other vehicles on the highway and the light in the video suggests it was at twilight.”

It could have been worse. The BMDV could have released a public statement about the stunt without anyone asking about it. We searched their website, and that was not the case. Despite that, videos of people trying to reach top speed in cars that can easily go beyond 300 kph will eventually bring too much attention to something that is still legal. By doing that, pressure to make it illegal will soon go beyond a point of no return.

We have already seen the war on cars is imposing ridiculously low speed limits in urban environments. In Paris, runners and bikers have been flashed for exceeding them. The excuse is that this is the only way to ensure traffic safety. The truth is that they want to make cars as inconvenient as possible to impose public transportation on everyone, regardless of their conveyance needs.

With folks speeding on roads with no legal limits and making videos about that, these car haters have a clear target to ask authorities to do something. They may even have valid points to do so.

Running at more than 300 kph is not a need. There’s no logical reason for anyone to do that: your vision field gets really narrow, and you have to anticipate any movements well in advance. Any mistake will be fatal not only for the people driving but also for anyone in their way.

Yet, anyone that loves cars smiles knowing some people can do that legally on some roads in the world. If anything, just for the fact that there are cars that can achieve such speeds. Without these roads, they would turn into engineering marvels that are a mere extravagance. Very few race tracks in the world allow a car to reach such speeds, and most of them are not open to the public, such as Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien.

By filming and sharing the whole thing, people like Radim Passer are getting millions of views (6.3 million until now) and attracting the wrath of people that think this is absurd. Millions of drivers have driven in Autobahnen in the past at very high speeds without trouble because they were not willing to show off about that.

The electrification effort would eventually put an end to that anyway: the higher the speed, the less range EVs will get. Only new battery tech could allow EVs to keep using Autobahnen as combustion-engined cars do. If it does not arrive, these hypercars would just cease to be natural. However, the need to brag about things will force that demise, which is quite an irony.

By filming and sharing videos of these high-speed runs, these millionaires are helping to kill the very cars they paid fortunes for and the roads that allow them to use these machines. Be prepared to bid them farewell. We’re sure there will be millions of videos on YouTube about that when it happens.


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