Posts from ‘Commuting’
The manual transmission is dead. I refuse to acknowledge any evidence to the contrary. The fact is, autonomous technology—even semi-autonomous technology—is completely incompatible with the manual transmission, and that is where the industry is headed.
The Florida spring-break road trip is cliché these days, but it was the thing to do when my college friends and I hit the interstate back in 1984. The trip from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale is roughly 1400 miles, and our goal, alternating drivers, was to cover that distance in under 24 hours. As I recall, we arrived at our destination in about 27 hours, but made the return trip in under 24.
Where would you live if you could commute each workday in an autonomous-driving, fully-functional, connected, comfortable, mobile office space? What if the service was provided via an on-demand subscription basis? Or, what if it was provided by one employer but not another – which company would you work for?
As a Chicagoan, I take a certain amount of pride in my ability to complain about the local traffic situation. To that end, though I loathe to report that my 17-mile trip from Consumer Guide’s Chicago-adjacent office to the sleepy Northwest Suburbs can take me more than an hour on the wrong day, I feel a least at little satisfaction knowing that I am a statistical outlier.
It’s summer now, and my commute has gotten much, much easier—at least most days. Once school is out, and folks start hitting the vacation trail, the volume of vehicles on the road during prime AM and PM migration times is reduced considerably. That said, there’s no accounting for road construction, accidents, and whatever the hell it is that happens around here Friday evenings. I won’t mention snow–snow is still months way. One inch of fresh snow can easily double the duration of my normally 75-90-minute commute home.
The evidence is anecdotal, but compelling. More than ever, ambivalent drivers are flocking to the far left lane of the nation’s highways, only to travel at some speed comfortably below the organic flow of traffic.
Hitting the road is more than just the opening salvo of your daily commute.
Most of us understand that when you take the wheel, you enter into a social contract obliging you to make driving as easy and uncomplicated as you can for every other driver on the road.
My commute sucks. It’s not actually a long commute distance-wise, clocking in at 20 to 24 miles depending on how I go. My commute is, however, laced with heavy traffic, lots of merging, and seemingly countless ill-sequenced red lights. On a good morning, I will make the trip in 45 minutes. On a bad day, you can add another half hour to that tally. And, God forbid if it snowed or rained.
Ask five car guys, and you’ll likely get five different answers. Still, we asked. Here are best road songs per the members of the Consumer Guide review staff. If your favorite road tune isn’t on this list, be sure and tell us what it is. Also tell us if you still own a copy of that song on cassette or 8-Track–which would be pretty cool.