Welcome to 2015 and a Changing Car Culture

In 2015 and beyond, will kids still dream of owning cars?

In 2015 and beyond, will kids still dream of owning cars?

Ask a group of seventh graders if they’d rather have a new phone or a car, and roughly 76.7 percent of them will want the phone.

Okay, I made up that percentage, but according to my experience, phones have become a bigger gotta-have to kids than automobiles.

I have a seventh grader, and thanks to the gods of good upbringing, he’s already planning what he wants as his first car. (A used Toyota FJ Cruiser.) His friends, though, would rather interact with friends through technology than at a common physical location that requires transport.

That’s a sad commentary on society itself, but since this is a car blog, I’ll refrain.

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How’s the Car Culture in Your Town?


Who knew a guy could nearly be assassinated for trying to pump gas.

I forgot that in Oregon, basic human rights don’t exist. Oh sure, you can marry whoever you want and ride around on bicycles without any clothes, but try to pump gas by yourself, and the Calvary brings out its firing squad.

It’s illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon, so the job is performed by attendants who run ragged between cars, grabbing credit cards and swiping with reckless abandon while barking things like, “Fill ‘er up?” and “Regular or premium?”

It’s like living in 1955.

Speed limits in Oregon are from the same era. Even four-lane Interstate highways are limited to 65 miles per hour.

Yes, Oregon is automotively oppressed. But they sure have nice cars.

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Can a Skateboard Replace a Car?

Eventually, man, you'll need a Subaru

Eventually, man, you’ll need a Subaru

When you have a skateboard and access to a bus, why do you need a car?

The fact that young people, those classified as members of Generation Y, are losing interest in cars isn’t shocking news. What is shocking news is that I heard this story discussed on public radio, a sure sign that I’m quickly aging out of the “young and cool” category most of Gen Y fits into.

The story detailed two 20-somethings who have no interest in car ownership, preferring instead to spend their money on things like food and experiences while relying on public transportation and skateboards to get them to the locations of their daily obligations.

There will always be a need for cars, of course, but maybe the next generation will completely redefine how we use them.

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The Path Toward a Driverless Nation

Google self-driving Lexus RX 450h

Thirty years ago, eight in 10 Americans ages 17-19 had a driver’s license. Today, it’s six in 10.

That’s the lead to a story at ScienceDaily, which goes on to give lots more stats about the decrease in licensed drivers in this country.

Many teens today don’t care whether they drive or not, and that percentage will probably just continue to drop. In today’s world, when kids can drive on Xbox and instantly connect to friends through technology, the need and desire to move about in the real world is diminishing.

While that’s great for the safety of America’s teenagers, it’s terrible for our car culture. In 20 years ask a guy about his first car, and he’s likely to respond, “A 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia, from GranTurismo on my old Xbox 360.”

Add Google’s self-driving cars to the mix, and car passion is at serious risk.

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