By Deborah Yaffe, Jan 27 2020 02:00PM
Last December, the owner of a very trendy new car got into a minor accident on an English roadway.
And thus we learned some exciting news: Jane Austen drives a Tesla.
Earlier this month, a person going by a rather famous name posted a twenty-five-second video clip on YouTube showing how a Tesla on autopilot failed to compensate adequately for a narrowing lane, side-swiped a parked car, and sheared off a mirror.
Oh, fine. I admit that “Jane Austen” is probably a pseudonym chosen by a Janeite with an excessive faith in self-driving technology.
Still, I prefer to imagine a twenty-first century Austen who has adopted a full slate of liberal environmental views and finds herself in a position to collect on her copyrights. She’s woke enough to opt for an electric car and, although wealthy enough – all those TV residuals! -- to afford Tesla’s most expensive models, she retains the frugality acquired during her years of struggle.
Therefore, she opts for the more affordable Model 3 (starting price $36,000, as compared to at least double that for the top of the line). She shifts into autopilot, leaving her hands free to jot down some ideas for Novel #7, and – thwack! No more mirror. But totally worth it for that new novel.