Home » Watch Us Ruin A Car To Determine The Safest Foods To Eat While Driving

Watch Us Ruin A Car To Determine The Safest Foods To Eat While Driving

Best Foods Ts
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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:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

As you watch, if you need a breakdown of the testing methods and foods tested, I’m happy to provide all that for you.

Testcar

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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.

Mainframe

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:

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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.

Group2

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
Holdingfood

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.

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Autopian Labs will continue to provide these sorts of research projects to aid the collective good of humankind as a Driving Species.

You’re welcome.

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Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 year ago

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.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mercedes Streeter
Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 year ago

Wasn’t this thing mold infested worse than your Smart?

Last edited 1 year ago by Icouldntfindaclevername
Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 year ago

The seats were somehow better, but the leftover food…it didn’t even look like food anymore!

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

I am guessing the seats were protected by two well padded Detroit derrieres?

88CieraXC
88CieraXC
1 year ago

I have found sauce packets from sheets that probably have a nee civilization growing

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 year ago

Oh, you got sticky pins now too

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
1 year ago

So you’re saying they’re flying your wife out as the official Autopian Superfund reclamation expert?

Drew
Drew
1 year ago

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.

Is Travis
Is Travis
1 year ago

The way those savages shoveled things towards their faces was a feat of something.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago
Reply to  Is Travis

Feat of gluttony

Data
Data
1 year ago

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.

Gardenbolt
Gardenbolt
1 year ago

any tips on vomiting in a car?

CSRoad
CSRoad
1 year ago
Reply to  Gardenbolt

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.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago
Reply to  CSRoad

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.

Paul B
Paul B
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

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.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul B
Paul B
Paul B
1 year ago
Reply to  CSRoad

And remove your glasses first.

Danger Ranger
Danger Ranger
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul B

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.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
1 year ago
Reply to  Gardenbolt

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.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
1 year ago
Reply to  PlatinumZJ

You’re a hero

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Gardenbolt

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.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Gardenbolt

Pro tip: if the car is in motion, be sure to point your mouth opposite the direction of motion.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

See? SEE?

I AM CORRECT: THIS IS HOW YOU GET ANTS.

88CieraXC
88CieraXC
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Some xars scare the ants. Ask my oldsmobile.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago
Reply to  88CieraXC

You have far more trust in ants to have fear than I do. Trust no ant.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

You can trust ants.. to find food anywhere.
That’s why I fear them.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

I got all my aunts from my grandparents.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

That’s exactly how my uncle got ants in his 1967 Plymouth Barracuda convertible.
He never should’ve let me borrow it.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

I don’t think you and E.O. Wilson would get along very well.

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
1 year ago

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.

Tommy Helios
Tommy Helios
1 year ago
Reply to  Dumb Shadetree

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.

88CieraXC
88CieraXC
1 year ago

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.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
1 year ago

I figured that would happen with these two lunatics.

ES
ES
1 year ago

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’.

CSRoad
CSRoad
1 year ago

First you teach cave men to drive, then you give them food.
Not surprising a vehicle was ruined in this test.
These are the kind of people you feed on the patio, you don’t want them in your house.

Harris K Telemacher
Harris K Telemacher
1 year ago

This is the worst episode of Mythbusters I’ve ever seen.

Seriously though, you guys need some driving lessons from Undercover Brother: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoXiuZFMoco

Gen-O Bernardo
Gen-O Bernardo
1 year ago

for your next piece, please come up with a sun shine allowance guide for convertibles. summer’s coming and a lot of potential new convertible owners.

Brau Beaton
Brau Beaton
1 year ago

Loved the humor. A fun watch before bed. You two just have something … naturally … whatever that is. Mercedes’ comments after iced the cake.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
1 year ago

So a Tyvek suit for eating in the car but not for attacking a lead filled box with a Chainsaw?

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 year ago

Fun fact; what Detroiters call a “Coney Island dog” is a “Michigan” in Vermont and the Adirondack region of NY state.

Greg
Greg
1 year ago

Now repeat this experiment in a right hand drive car!

CopperFireMist
CopperFireMist
1 year ago

Makes we want to upgrade my membership to Velour!

Chunky Frunky
Chunky Frunky
1 year ago

Looking forward to the followup piece, “Best Places To Take A Monster Dump While Driving.”

Number one is Bucc-Ee’s, but the rest? I’d like to know.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago
Reply to  Chunky Frunky

Oh man, I’ve written about this at a former outlet.

Buc-ee’s is amateur hour. Clean, but maddeningly full of tourists. I do not want to fight a crowd when I’m about to unleash a torrent of the worst travel-food-and-caffeine-fueled dookie known to man. It’s jumped the damn shark with Alabamans doing TikToks of them “exploring the Bussey’s” or whatever. I passed a “Do It For The Gram” Buc-ee’s billboard the other day, and nope: this is the point where it officially jumped the shark.

Guys, it’s just big. I am from the state that birthed Buc-ee’s and its big dumb quest for bIgGeSt StAtIoN eVeR Guinness records, and…it’s just big. Reliably okay. Conveniently located, if I have to go to San Antonio or New Braunfels. Stop looking at it like it’s anything more than “just a big gas station with a big store, clean poopers and okay food.”

(Also, they do kolaches wrong? The dough is just not right. Not flaky enough. The flakiness—as opposed to crumbliness—is what gives kolaches a pass as the one food I’ll eat while driving. I have the same beef with Slovacek’s, FWIW, which is basically one of West’s main sausage providers trying to open its own version of Buc-ee’s. Apparently you can nail the dough or go for scale, but not both. But I digress.)

I still always aim for a coffee shop when I need to do war crimes to a toilet. Ain’t no way little Parker, Jordan and Kayelynne are going to put up with errant turds or crowds at their mid-week Bible study. The snacks are usually decent quality, the bathrooms are usually pretty clean to “make it so Karen doesn’t complain after too many oversweetened chai abominations” standards, and the crowds are far smaller.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stef Schrader
10001010
10001010
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

The Buc-ee’s are definitely getting to touristy and busy but I’ll still stop at them since they’re the halfway point to San Antonio or D/FW for me.
Still, every now and then I find myself jonesing for their bohemian garlic jerkey and find myself driving to the one in Waller or Baytown.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago
Reply to  10001010

I gotta hand it to ’em, they’ve done very well at identifying the absolute middle of nowhere where you need a toilet and some gas. The last one I passed when I was out on the Lemons Rally was so slammed, though, that we just opted to roll right past to the next available station. Ain’t nobody got time for a Buc-ee’s at Peak Tourist Hell Levels.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

I agree. The place is like an angry ant hill when it’s busy.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

If you have to eat while driving, you might wanna loosen up your schedule.
I’ve got no problem with snacks in the car, but a full meal? You’re booking yourself too tight. Might wanna pick up some Montana brochures or something…

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

For reals. Getting hungry is a good indication that it’s about time to stop and rest.

(Also, MY CAR IS NOT A DINING ROOM THAT’S HOW YOU GET ANTS!!)

Last edited 1 year ago by Stef Schrader
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Ants, motivating people to keep things clean since forever.
They’re like little cheerleaders for obsessive people.
Thanks lil buddies.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago

I’m betting Autopian Labs is in the same neighborhood as Muppet Labs.

Gee See
Gee See
1 year ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

In an RV and an Aztec parked in roughly the same neigbhourhood

Gee See
Gee See
1 year ago

At least they didn’t do it in the Changli after the battery extraction.

Eric Busch
Eric Busch
1 year ago

My only criticism would be the the parameters of the test. Nobody eats while moving in a parking lot or a close quarter situation. I get the bit (and I laughed at some of it).

I unabashedly have enjoyed a MickeyD cheeseburger or two whilst on a long road trip, with cruise control on, on a freeway. With fries.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 year ago

You didn’t show before and after control drives through the course with no food at all. Without that how do we, your peer reviewers, know you both simply don’t totally suck at driving?

Also since you didn’t clean the car between tests we don’t really know how much of which mess came from each food. On a screen splatters of cheese and broccoli soup looks a lot like splattered biryani white sauce.

I’m sorry to say without those changes what you’ve got is 100% “science”. Now back to the lab bench with you two!

(Also remind me to never buy a used Autopian test vehicle, no matter HOW cheap it is).

Jblues
Jblues
1 year ago

Guys, you need to consult with me on these pseudo-scientific studies before you go all bohemian.

First of all – you omitted pretty much all gas station roller food:

  1. Taquitos
  2. Egg rolls
  3. Corn dogs (not on a stick)

Then you omitted the best stuff sold at the premium truck/car stops:

  1. Mac & Cheese bites
  2. Cheese curds with sauce
  3. Mozza sticks

Then you skipped over the most entertaining options:

  1. KFC Famous Bowls
  2. Taco Bell Nachos Bellgrande
  3. Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

I expect a part II next week.

Jblues
Jblues
1 year ago
Reply to  Jblues

Also – Just noticed the burrito was Chipotle. That’s disallowed. Chipotle burritos don’t hold together under the most optimal conditions.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Jblues

Neither will your bowels afterward.
They treat Salmonella, E. Coli and Norovirus like they are spices there.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

LOL. “Chipotlaway” for soiled shorts is still one of the all-time best gags to come out of “South Park.”

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

You definitely don’t want soiled shorts.
That’s how you get ants in your pants.

Danny Zabolotny
Danny Zabolotny
1 year ago
Reply to  Jblues

My favorite way to eat Chipotle burritos is while walking, so I don’t have to worry about all the bits that fall out.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

My favorite way to eat Chipotle burritos is at the beach apparently, surrounded by seagulls.

Because if I’m eating a Chipotle burrito, I’m usually doing so in a nightmare.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
1 year ago

No spaghetti? Or is that only for showers?

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 year ago

Of course DT already knew to wear the baseball cap to keep the hood of the Tyvek suit out of his eyes. 🙂

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

I have to ask if either of you have driven a manual before? I tend to doubt it.
1. Cold pizza but hot soup? Soup works it is the planning. Soup in a cup for Jason a sippy cup.
2. Calzone is great but you slice it like a pizza before starting out.
3. Not my food group but dressing lije nugget sauce or ketchup you make a slit in the package and suck out a bit with each bite.
4. Chinese food you go finger food buffet, egg roll spring roll, chicken wings, anything on a stick stuffed mushrooms, all kinds of things.
5. Hey ask mom, a 3 yr old can feed themselves cheerios with less mess than you two.
6. Cookies, crackers, lunchables, slim jims. Avoid sauces and liquids.
7. Video guy was right nothing showing the actual driving which tended to vary.
8. The final test it would have been funny shower spaghetti and fake accident spaghetti on inside of windshield.
9. Show a test where the vehicle is on a flat bed.
10. Show the final mess talk about how hard it will be to clean and then assign cleaning to an intern while you two walk away into the marvelous sunset.

10MM Socket
10MM Socket
1 year ago

Torch is a goddam laugh riot! Did he not know the course wasn’t timed?

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago

Easily the best 17:48 of my day!

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

Having a bad day huh?
I hope it gets better.

Dug Deep
Dug Deep
1 year ago

Pancakes. McDonald’s sells them at the drive thru.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago
Reply to  Dug Deep

Sausage wrapped in pancakes.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

*WARNING*

This video has been identified to potentially trigger people with Misophonia, and may lead to loss of appetite.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 year ago

On the opposite end, I’m betting at least one of you is a real hardass about never eating in the car.

Maybe resident suspension engineer Huibert? Or maybe he knows exactly which cars are the most stable to eat in?

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

I don’t know if I count as a member yet but I will kick you out of my car WHILE IT DRIVES if you try and stuff your mouth in it.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Nervously raises hand

I will eat in a shitbox, but if I consider it a bucket list car then I will only drink in there, and the drink will be like water or something.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 year ago

Not even in the shitbox Clio and there ain’t no “or something” allowed in my book! Water is tolerated, but it’s on thin ice so it better behave!

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

YOU’RE ALL BANNED FROM MY CAR, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU COMMENTING ABOUT FOODS TO EAT

EVEN THE 411! THE VW HAS SUFFERED ENOUGH!!!!!

YOU CAN EAT OUT OF THE CAR OR YOU CAN WALK

ABSOLUTELY NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, SAID WHILE YELLING AT THE SCREEN, TYPED IN ALL CAPS

Last edited 1 year ago by Stef Schrader
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Are there ants on your keyboard, and you’re trying to smash them?

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

No ants. My keyboard is not a dining table, either.

(I learned that hard lesson in college. *vomit*)

Last edited 1 year ago by Stef Schrader
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

That’s good. I was worried that there might be ants on your keyboard.

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