American car culture from a German car guy’s perspective

First off a little bit if background information for you to better understand this post.

I’ve lived in Germany my whole life, I love cars so obviously I’m very familiar with our car culture here. Last year I took a trip to NYC and I just thought about what cars I saw there and what made an impression on me so I figured I’ll write it down and some of you might find that interesting. I’m guessing a majority of the readers and writers on this subreddit are American so maybe it’s nice for you guys to look at it from a different angle and even learn something. Also, I know that many of the cars you will see in NYC you won’t see in other parts of the US and that you probably can’t really generalize these impressions on the entirety of the US.

Anyways, here we go.

The first thing I noticed when I got off the plane at JFK and drove to Manhattan is that there are a LOT of American cars and a LOT of Japanese cars – way more than what I’m used to seeing in Germany. Now obviously it makes sense that there are a lot of cars from American brands in the US and I knew that Japanese brands like Toyota, Nissan, Mazda… are very popular in the US but I did not expect to see that many.

Another thing that I wasn’t used to seeing are some of the American brands we don’t have in Germany like Lincoln, Buick, Pontiac and Cadillac aswell (even though I think Cadillac do sell cars in Europe now, but I’ve only ever seen maybe 5 of them in Germany so I think it counts). It was cool to see some of the cars irl that I had only seen in pictures so far.

Now, I’m a big fan of German brands and their cars especially Mercedes-Benz. I’m obviously used to seeing a lot of German cars on the road and what I noticed is that in NYC first there really aren’t a lot of German cars on the road and second when you see one it’s most likely a Jetta lol. But what I found interesting is that when you see a car from more premium German brands like Mercedes, Audi or BMW it’s pretty much always an expensive model. I felt like the only Benz’s I saw were S-Classes and GL’s and maybe the occasional GLK or GLE. Again, I know this is probably only true for bigger cities and it’s different in the rest of the country but it was still pretty weird to me. In Germany you really don’t see that many S-Classes and even less GL’s. That might be the case because people in the US generally like bigger cars than the average German. I also wonder if that’s a reason why many people in the US think driving a BMW or a Mercedes is something only people that are well-off can achieve? Because when I hear that, it doesn’t really mean much to me, because the Mercedes’ and BMWs and Audis you see driving around here are mostly the lower or mid end models that many people could afford if they wanted to. Mercedes-Benz sold the second most cars of any manufacturer in Germany last year, only second to Volkswagen so I guess that kinda shows how popular they are here. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. Ok moving on.

I was very lucky to hear that the New York Auto Show would open while I was in the city so I went there and it was one of my personal highlights of the trip. I’ve been to the IAA in Frankfurt a couple of times and for the most part it wasn’t that different. Pretty much just like every other big car show. But there were a couple smaller things that I really liked that I haven’t seen at other car shows. For example they had a small section there for tuned cars which I loved. They also had a NASCAR parked in one of the hallways and someone asked me if I wanted to get in which of course I did. It was pretty hard to get in and out but it was still a very cool experience. Another thing I noticed at the car show was that there was pretty much a whole floor for trucks. I knew that Americans love their trucks but again, I didn’t know to which extent. You don’t really see any trucks for private use in most parts of Germany, maybe a little more in rural parts. Instead there are tons of small compact cars that get people from A to B just fine while being cheap and having good gas mileage, so pretty much the opposite of trucks. But yeah, what I’m trying to say is that you wouldn’t see a lot of trucks at German car shows, never ever a complete floor of them.

So these were some of the impressions I got on my trip and some of the differences I noticed compared to what I’m used to seeing in Germany. Hopefully you found this post interesting and if you have any questions just ask away!

Tl;Dr: Americans and Germans drive very different cars.

Sorry for formatting, I’m currently on mobile.

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Does this mean I’m bad at statistics?

Ok, so I’m currently studying AP statistics on khan academy(my school doesn’t offer it) and for a while got stuck on mean, median and mode. I’ve thankfully finally understood(I think) what each of these averages represents and how to use them. They’re basically a summary of the set of numbers if i’m correct. Everything else in AP stats seems pretty straight forward. So my question is: does getting stuck(for about a month) over one of the most basic and fundamental concepts of statistics but understanding everything after that relatively quickly mean that I’m bad at statistics? Sounds like a really stupid question right? If so then I’m sorry. I’m just very stupid.

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A lock and key question

Say that you have a padlock a a key for said padlock, now lets say that you have a larger amount of padlocks (say 1000) without keys, what I’m curious about is the probability of the key for the original padlock working on one of the other padlocks?

Note: this question hit me in the shower so that explains the randomness of the question

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What’s a good metric for capturing differences between signals, particularly differences in their shapes?

Engineer here, I’m trying to compare two different periodic signals and I’m having a hard time coming up with a metric that captures the necessary information.

I have a new signal, and I want to determine how similar it is to a reference signal. There are three general types of differences that are observed: * phase shift * change in amplitude * changes in mean value * change in shape.

Currently I’m using a couple of different metrics. Comparing the mean values and calculating the coefficient of determination (R2 value) gives a good measure of changes in amplitude and phase shifts or vertical shifts in the signal. But I’m struggling to find something that captures the change in shape.

I came up with my own metric which is to compare the integrated area between the two curves to the area under the reference curve. Here is the formula, and it’s the ratio between the blue shaded and orange shaded areas in this plot. In the plot you can see that the difference in average values is very small, and because the plots line up well most of the time, the R2 value is quite high. However, something significantly different is happening around theta = 3.

Is there a good name for this metric? I’m calling it the Normalized Difference for the moment. I’ve done some searching online without luck…

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for a better or more rigorous way to capture differences in signal shape?

submitted by /u/damnableluck
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Trying to remember a fact about fast food places in America remaining open during natural disasters to explain correlation v causation

I see a fact bandied around on reddit all the time about IHOP or another American diner type place that the authorities use to determine in what order to provide assistance to areas in the event of a natural disaster.

Trying to find some good examples of correlation does not equal causation so if you’ve got any other fun examples that would be great as well.

Thanks in advance.

submitted by /u/Lozzy1256
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