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My National Nightmare—Holiday Driving

It's Friday. Fourth of July weekend. My Worst Traffic Nightmare.

Whether folks are driving from LA to Vegas, Miami down to the Keys, Manhattan to the Hamptons, many drivers will seriously consider turning around and going home at some point.

IBM released a global commuter study this week, surveying 8,000 drivers around the world. Shockingly (not), most drivers believe traffic is getting worse. Two out of three commuters in the U.S. say traffic negatively affects their health. Yet 84 percent of us still drive alone to work. IBM says that even the worst traffic in America is tolerable compared to the crowded streets of Beijing, Mexico City, Johannesburg, or Moscow. Drivers in Moscow say the longest jam they've been stuck in during the last three years lasted, on average, two and a half hours.

Just in time comes the Transition! The contraption made by Terrafugia (a bunch of pilots who went to MIT) can transform itself from a car to an airplane in 30 seconds. The wings fold up allowing the "car" to drive on highways or park in the garage.

The company just got an FAA exemption to make the aircraft heavy enough to include airbags and a safety cage, in order to meet federal motor vehicle standards (one hopes the airbags don't deploy during in flight turbulence).

Here's video of how the thing works.

The company hopes to have computer graphics of a production model prototype later this month. It is taking $10,000 deposits and estimates the final pricetag will be $194,000. "How easy is it to go through a Taco Bell?" Tweeted @j2lovesfridaywhen I mentioned the car/plane on Twitter, "or to parallel park it at a downtown parking meter?" Another Twitterer, @pmarganski, warns, "I can just see people texting, smoking, and drinking coffee while flying one of these."

Well, in that case, you might also want to buy one of these.

Laptop Steering Wheel Table
Source: craziestgadgets.com
Laptop Steering Wheel Table

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