Volkswagen’s Long, Strange Trip Through Pop Culture

How Did the Sensible German Automobiles Come to Symbolize Both Counterculture Cool and American Family Fun?

It looks like Volkswagen is going to owe billions for the illegal sleight of engineering hand that enabled its once-vaunted diesel car engine to cheat on emissions tests. The German carmaker’s impending payout is the result of one of the largest consumer class-action settlements in U.S. history. But let’s not forget that the culprit in this case is not just any company, it is Volkswagen—arguably one of the most beloved brands in U.S. history.

And we VW enthusiasts are especially bummed out.

Volkswagen—the “people’s car”—occupies a special niche in American popular …

When You Ride the Bus, You Ride With Big Data

Will Public Transit Apps Create Customers or Citizens?

When I first arrived in San Francisco in 1988, I often took a bus called the 22 Fillmore, which ran from Potrero Hill, made a right turn near the Castro, …

When Ethics and Autonomous Cars Collide

Will You Be Able to Trust Your Self-Driving Vehicle to Make the Right Choice in a Crash?

Imagine the beginning of what promises to be an awesome afternoon: You’re cruising along in your car and the sun is shining. The windows are down, and your favorite song …

How Americans Fell in Love with the Open Road

As the Automobile Industry Took off, Drivers Discovered the Romance and Freedom of Long-Distance Travel

Tens of millions of Americans have hit the road this summer. The all-American road trip has long been a signature adventure, but once upon a time the notion of your …

L.A., You Suck at Parking

Many Angelenos Leave Their Cars in the Worst Places, so I Started an Instagram Campaign to Make Them Think Twice About Being Jerks

I moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles on a whim six years ago to pursue a career as a makeup artist. I had two suitcases, a couple thousand dollars in …