You know that Maslow’s Hirearchy of Needs thing? It’s kind of like the food pyramid, only it has to do with the fundamental needs of being a human. I don’t feel like looking it up, but I’m going to assume the crucial needs are eating and driving. Driving and eating! The two most important things in life, and, tragically, some of the least compatible. We here at Autopian Labs (our R&D department here at The Autopian) understand that this is a problem that needs solving, and solving problems exactly what we do here. This time, the problem is determining just which foods are best to eat while driving — something we’ll have to do by incorporating hard, empirical testing. You want driving food answers? Of course you do, and we got ’em.
We documented the entire process here, so I suggest you stop whatever meaningless crap you’re doing immediately – that means let the fire burn or let that patient just wait another 20 minutes or so for those lungs or keep circling that airport, because this is important:
As you watch, if you need a breakdown of the testing methods and foods tested, I’m happy to provide all that for you.
For the test procedure, we used the Autopian Test Vehicle — a 2006 Scion xB with a five-speed manual transmission — as our test platform. By using a manual transmission car, we were able to provide the most demanding eating-while-driving use case, as both hands are required for driving operation. This way, whatever works well in this context can be certain to work well in an automatic transmission vehicle.
The driving test course included crucial driving elements such as: a three-point turn, a slalom, an emergency handbrake stop, and entering and backing out of a parking spot (along with the usual set of turning, accelerating, shifting gears, and stopping). The driving course was designed with the input from scientists at the National Mobile Food Consumption Coalition, a splinter faction of the SCCA, and input from the American Council of Churches.
The American Dental Association requires us to note they had no formal participation in this project.
The set of metrics that determined a food’s drivable edibility are shown below, and were developed by the most advanced AI capable of running on a 16K Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100:
Containability: How well the food remains contained and together Residue Factor: The level of residue, either of the sauce or crumb variety, produced by the food Focus: How much attention does the food demand be taken from the driving task to eat Cleanup: How messy was the aftermath of consumption
Flavor and affordability were factored in as needed as tie-breaking or additional criteria.
The foods tested by David and myself were as follows:
Cold Pizza Chipotle Chicken Burrito Taco Bell Crunch Wrap Supreme Panera Broccoli and Cheese Soup Bread Bowl McDonald's Cheeseburger Olive Garden Lasagna Big Calzone Biryani Coney Island Chilidog Panda Express Chow Mein (with chopsticks) Bonus: McDonald's McNuggets
The foods were selected for widespread availability, and we were careful to ensure a wide variety of food types. None have been specifically engineered for driving and eating use, and no organizations provided the food nor exerted any sort of pressure on us to rate a given food higher or lower, despite repeated attempts by agents of the National Lasagna Council. You know we don’t play like that, NLC! So call off your goons!
We hope this experiment proves helpful to you in your future drivedining adventures. We also hope this will be a call to arms to America’s food producers as they realize that the state of drive-edible foods is in crisis. Options are limited, and, in many cases, actually dangerous.
Autopian Labs will continue to provide these sorts of research projects to aid the collective good of humankind as a Driving Species.
Something missing from this article is the fact that they never cleaned up the car after the experiment. When I first saw the Test Car I opened the driver door and nearly vomited from the stench of whatever horror movie beast was growing in there.
That car is absolutely a Superfund site today.
Wasn’t this thing mold infested worse than your Smart?
The seats were somehow better, but the leftover food…it didn’t even look like food anymore!
I am guessing the seats were protected by two well padded Detroit derrieres?
I have found sauce packets from sheets that probably have a nee civilization growing
Oh, you got sticky pins now too
So you’re saying they’re flying your wife out as the official Autopian Superfund reclamation expert?
I was pretty sure there could not be anything safe to eat in that particular vehicle. Best of luck to everyone involved. Hoping this isn’t what starts the zombie apocalypse.
The way those savages shoveled things towards their faces was a feat of something.
Feat of gluttony
Frankly, that still of DT eating the sub looks like some alien creature (Or Japanese tentacle) is either bursting forth or burrowing in. It’s quite horrifying.
any tips on vomiting in a car?
Yeah, open the window and stick your head out.
At speed you will have some spray.
The old M-B carpets with the foam underpad are not recommended.
I can attest vomiting out a closed window is a big fail. Worse it was my car I was getting a ride home after a late nite bout of aah food poisoning. My coworker driver actually cleaned it up that night. Man Employee of the century.
Don’t forget to also open the screen.
Overdid the drinks at a party once and went to puke off the balcony. Opened the patio door, went to open the screen door. The screen door was frozen in place (it was winter).
Apparently, spaghetti does not get digested enough in 6 hours to go through a screen.
And remove your glasses first.
My uncle sold Buicks in the back of my 88 Cougar… 2door car, windows down, he sat in the back seat, and turned away from the open window. All across the back window, seat, etc. No matter how much I cleaned it… Still smelled like Miller Lite puke on a hot day. I was almost glad it got totalled by someone running a red.
I’m still not entirely sure how I managed it, but I successfully puked into a Ziploc bag while driving at interstate speeds, got the thing closed, and found a deserted gas station with nice open trash cans for disposing of it before it became a mess.
You’re a hero
Pray it’s not done in a convertible, full of passengers, at highway speeds, with the top down and little to no notice from your stomach.
All dressed up, on your way *to* prom.
Pro tip: if the car is in motion, be sure to point your mouth opposite the direction of motion.
I AM CORRECT: THIS IS HOW YOU GET ANTS.
Some xars scare the ants. Ask my oldsmobile.
You have far more trust in ants to have fear than I do. Trust no ant.
You can trust ants.. to find food anywhere.
That’s why I fear them.
I got all my aunts from my grandparents.
That’s exactly how my uncle got ants in his 1967 Plymouth Barracuda convertible.
He never should’ve let me borrow it.
I don’t think you and E.O. Wilson would get along very well.
I can’t believe I’m saying this because it means I’m getting old, but Jason and Torch, cleanup is part of the job. This wouldn’t have been that bad to clean if you had done it the same day. That keeps the car usable for future experiments and misadventures. A shop vac and a quick wipe down wouldn’t have taken very long.
This isn’t any different from wrenching. Until the tools are back in the toolbox and the parts are sorted, you are not done with the job. Leaving stuff sitting around is just adding debt that you’ll have to pay back later. Keeping your workspace cleanish and organized helps you move faster while spending less time searching for parts and tools.
You obviously never went to DTs superfund site. Bruh, there were tools and parts all over the yard. Probably a good half dozen 10mms in the grass.
You clean your car? Bougie! (I’ just messin. The reality is anything fried without dipping or dripping, so Popeyes tendies or bojangles in the upper south (far superior). If you’re in nj, sub sammies, accept the mess, or whit castle.
I figured that would happen with these two lunatics.
I wish I was there… I would have also suggested Pad Thai… then I would have gotten them the hottest Pad Thai I could find and watch them deal with it… LOL
Oh and a Subway Sub meatball sub with extra sauce and hot + Jalapeno peppers would have been great too!
I haven’t watched the video yet. Based on my experience driving stick for most of my life, fast food cheeseburgers and pizza are the easiest items to eat on the go. You can also include small fast food burritos (also, crunchwraps), but that depends on the fillings and how well it’s wrapped. Nuggets suck because nuggets are just a vessel for sauce imo, and it’s annoying trying to dip them while avoiding dripping sauce on your clothes.
Indeed very YouTube, but a bit too childish for you two.
Have you met them?
when Jason started slurping soup, my dog woke up from a sound sleep on her sleeping couch, made a very indignant exhale and left the room.
I suggest that you need to increase the difficulty factor by talking on a handheld phone while eating, shifting, clutching, and steering. I have done this. Braking is optional. Steering with a knee works OK. As I do not suffer from motion sickness, I cannot relate to the options for treatment. A handy hardhat comes to mind, among its other uses.
I can confirm that McD’s cheeseburgers are the GOAT. The only thing better is a quarter pounder with cheese, and that’s because it comes in a cardboard container that you can set in your lap between shifts.
Well, the Doug Score™ just became entirely irrelevant!
There is no way you guys would have been able to do that when you were with the other site. Great stuff!
I’m disappointed in the lack of basic soft tacos in this test.
This was worth my $20.
My totalled Hyundai Elantra would tell you: it’s not eating the KFC chicken leg (original flavor, of course) that was the danger; it was my rummaging through the bucket to find one,
while in motion(!)
during one of our rare snow storms(!!)
that sealed the deal.
training wheels. city drive a ’97 ranger with a stick and no power steering, no cup holders, a coffee, a slice , and a lit camel. Vinyl bench seats are forgiving tho’.