Turning age 66 doesn’t have the same milestone traditions as ages 40, 50 and 65. But there are connections to the automotive world for me with double six on the horizon, including 50 years of driving.
Driving the iconic Route 66 is a bucket list item for many travelers. I’d like to do that at age 66. And for those who acquired their first driver’s license at age 16, a half-century of driving has likely provided plenty of opportunities for reflection.
During the past half-century, the automotive industry has advanced with the acceleration of a Tesla. So my friend and co-host Bruce Aldrich and I decided the time was right. We discuss our respective pending 50 years of driving on Episode #157 of The Weekly Driver Podcast.
Elon Musk, the creator and eccentric owner of Tesla, has changed the automotive world with a quantum leap into the future of electric vehicles. How has the supercar changed the industry and its relationship with our world and its failing environment?
Automotive technology has made cars safer with GPS navigation systems, back-up cameras and various driving warnings. But has technology overloaded?
Autonomous driving and flying cars aren’t too far in the future. Is it all good or a disaster waiting to happen?
A lot more has also occurred. Consider: anti-lock braking systems (ABS), power steering, automated driving, navigation systems, infotainment centers were all developed in the past 50 years. Manual transmissions, once prominent, are larger gone. Taxis have given way to Uber and Lyft.
Alternative fuels haven’t yet grabbed the public. But gas-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen cars and trucks are at least in the public consciousness. Will the technology ever sway the public-at-large?
Fifty years of driving changes skill levels. Drivers develop habits — good and bad. Eventually, good abilities begin to slip.
The latter is discouraging. Bruce and I and surely many others agree: Our reaction times are slower. Peripheral vision isn’t as good as it once was. Night driving is increasingly difficult.
50 Years Of Driving: Tickets To Family History
Bruce and I also discuss 50 years of driving in other areas — tickets to accidents, family history to unusual circumstances. It makes for a lively episode.
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Article Last Updated: November 23, 2020.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.