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Driving Isn’t In Our Collective Automotive Future

The tendency in automotive media (of which I consider myself a peripheral member) is to focus on the positives and negatives of the cars that are available in the hear and now. Which truck has a more realistic tow rating? Which car is a better value? Which auto executive is smarter than the rest? Etc.

One topic that doesn’t seem to get enough attention in the automotive press is the idea that, in the near future, driving is going to be incredibly easy. In fact, drivers themselves may be mostly unnecessary in a generation (maybe sooner).

Stick with me and think about how driving has changed in just the last twelve years:

  • No more manual transmission options on most vehicles – driving complexity is greatly reduced
  • Many vehicles offer proximity sensors to help with parking, and some cars even park themselves
  • ABS and traction control are found on almost all new cars – correcting for inclement weather is easier than ever
  • Stability control and roll-over sensors prevent accidents before they ever happen. Poor judgment on behalf of the driver is corrected now more than ever.
  • It’s now possible to buy a car that will warn you when you’re following too closely and automatically apply the brakes if you aren’t paying attention.
  • Safety systems have become so effective that NHTSA had to re-calibrate their “5 star” ratings

While many will argue that these enhancements aren’t really enhancements, there’s no denying that driving is less complex and therefore easier today than it was a short while ago.

The amazing thing is that these enhancements are just the tip of the iceberg.

2nd Annual Tundrastop Meet Truck Show Coverage

Just this past Saturday, – in collaboration with, Toyo Tires, and Fuel Off-Road Wheels – hosted their second annual meet and truck show in Brea, California. The show included too many 2nd generation Tundras to count, some very nice 1st gen Tundras, some dedicated off-road trucks, and even a couple of very nice Toyota Tacomas.

2nd Annual Meet 2011

2nd Annual Meet 2011

We sent freelance photographer extraordinaire Shannon West to try and capture the event, here’s what she found:

Ford F150 Fires – Funny Video

While it’s undoubtedly poor taste to make light of a safety issue, the following parody video about Ford F-150 cruise control fires made me laugh a little bit.

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If you’re a Ford fan, know this: Ford had a problem with cruise control modules spontaneously catching fire, but they fixed it. You’re probably OK.

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King Of Hammers Is In Two Days – Race For Access Fundraising Drive

King of Hammers (KOH) is one of the coolest truck racing events in the world (right up there with the Baja 1000 and the Dakar Rally) because it combines two difficult off-road activities – high speed desert racing and extreme rock crawling – into one difficult day. The challenge for participants is to design a rig that can complete both portions of the race in the fastest time possible…and that’s a bit of a pickle.

Note: While the race itself is fascinating, let’s take a moment and note that the race is only possible because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) grants use of some of the land used in the race…I’ll come back to this topic in a minute.

2011 King of Hammers

Image copyright Pirate4x4 - click the image above to see more pics and learn more about the KOH

Updated Part and Accessory Review System – Please Test

In an effort to improve the speed and responsiveness of the site (which is unfortunately a work in progress), I’ve moved to a new server. Unfortunately, this move “broke” the parts and accessories review system.

This prompted me to create a new system more similar to the main site that is also hopefully much easier to use. Features include:

  • Over 500 products can be reviewed
  • Product reviews include a star rating system, the opportunity to share your comments, and a chance to share your vehicle year, make and model – however
  • Anyone can leave a rating on a product without logging in or sharing any personal info
  • The top-rated products will always be listed first – as more and more people review products, the best ones will “rise to the top”

Instead of reading a post today, please take a couple of minutes to rate a product or two check out the new Tundra parts review system here. We’ll be adding more products over the course of the next week or two, but any testing or feedback you can offer now will be appreciated!

Thank you!!