We also have roundabouts with stop signs at some of the entrances, "roundabouts" that are legally regular intersections where oncoming traffic does NOT yield, and roundabouts shaped such that people going one direction can cruise through at very high speeds and others can't see far enough to know if they should yield or not until it's too late.
I don't think ABS will work in most cars when the engine is turned off. In my car, if you turn the engine off and then move the switch back to "on" without starting it, the ABS light comes on to indicate that the system is disabled.
Also, power braking is a moot point if you're stuck at WOT, since the engine isn't really making a useful amount of vacuum in that situation.
The constraints on taxis in Seattle are garbage. New taxis must be hybrids. Older ones are an impressively ancient fleet of ex-police crown vics converted to run on propane. They're a fucking minority on the street, they could all be 60's muscle cars tuned so rich they can barely turn over and there wouldn't be a measurable difference in air quality in the city. The number of taxi licenses is barely enough to sorta kinda cover an average Saturday night. If there's a big event of any kind (and there's plenty of those), you'll be left waiting in the cold without a ride. If there's a hint of snow on the ground, you'll be left waiting in the cold without a ride. Most of the taxi services operate outside of the rules anyway -- for example, the big "for hire" service that pretends like you have to call in for a ride ahead of time so they're not technically a taxi service but will always pick you up on the street anyway. On the rare occasion they post a picture of the licensed driver, it only sometimes matches the driver you get. They all refuse to take the cheapest route unless you direct them at every turn (and the "for hire" service will quote you a price double their own farebook unless you negotiate in advance).
I regularly have a better taxi experience even as a white guy in 3rd world countries. If the city tried even a tiny bit to use regulation on taxis to help the city, I would stand behind them 100%. As it is, I don't consider the taxi laws in Seattle reasonable or valid until they're put to a legitimate vote by the people.
Yes, "toughness" is a technical term that refers to how much a material can yield before it breaks. In that sense, carbon fiber is not considered to be tough at all.
Crash structures that use CF normally depend on it's tendency to shatter violently at failure. If you watch any recent F1 crash that damages the monocoque, you'll see an explosion of debris -- this is by design. Done right, you can use up some of the crash energy as kinetic energy in the debris. Unfortunately, this is extremely difficult to design and test. It's also more or less a one-time use thing, I would worry that day to day bumps and scratches that happen on road vehicles might reduce the effectiveness of the structure.
The undercarriages of F1 cars are a little different, they generally have an aerodynamic undertray protected by a layer of kevlar (or similar material). This is good at reducing damage from occasional contact with the road surface and minor debris, but it depends on the undertray's ability to flex at impact and has to be replaced fairly often.
Cars did have this a long time ago. School buses had it up through the 90's at least, and firetrucks will probably always have a kill switch due to the potential of taking in combustible stuff through the intake.
Honestly I'm fine with using a key, it's good UI design to have an e-stop system that the user can operate without doing anything special or unusual. The only real danger is how easy it is to accidentally engage the steering column lock at the same time (or overly aggressive anti-theft systems that kick in and leave you dead in the water with no exterior lights...)
However I really don't like the new keyless systems, if I hit something and there are flames pouring out of the engine compartment and I can't get out, I'd much rather physically cut power to the fuel pump (and disable HV on a hybrid) than hold down a button I've never used before for a few seconds to send a request to a likely damaged controller to pretty please start the shutdown sequence.
Honestly I prefer a little bit of white noise from fan turbulence over quiet electrical noise, without something to drown out the PWM noise I'll occasionally wake up in the middle of the night thinking I have a failing capacitor.
Perhaps that's a sign that I've spent too much of my life messing with electronics.
Supposedly when my grandad got a 3-day weekend, he would "visit" Texas -- starting in Seattle, passing through California for the heck of it, and making it home in time for work. He had a massive Cadillac that got 13mpg at any speed, so he'd set cruise control for 110 and drive until he had to pull over and take a nap.
I don't know how much of the story is true, but I guess roads were way more open back in the 70's, gas was cheaper, and we have pictures of the Cadillac...
Yesterday I installed the latest version of Skype on my laptop. It turned on my webcam, took my picture, and tried to set it as the profile image for my Skype account.
Of course, it's crazy to expect to be pseudonymous on skype but that was still a little unsettling.