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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

Just Need to Hit the Road and Chill?

During the 2020 Covid pandemic lockdown months, when a nervous trip to the grocery store or a walk around the block were our only allowable travel destinations, binge-watching The Amazing Race or the National Geographic channel got old real fast.

Then a kind of global cabin fever quickly took hold that spawned the innovation of a number of delightful virtual experience websites, like WindowSwap, the free site that gave viewers the chance to peek through real people’s windows from over 120 countries, and Missing Sounds of New York, an audio playlist of archived sounds of everyday city life released by New York Public Library to help make folks feel normal again, among many others.

A favorite of ours was Drive & Listen, and it’s still fun to use when you just need to “get away.”  Created in 2020 by Erkam Şeker, a Turkish student living in Munich, the site offers real POV driving videos taken in some 40 different cities around the world. Choose the city you want to drive in, while listening to the local radio station, and off you go, tooling around Paris, New York, or Rome!

The app offers the option of changing the radio station and activating or muting the sounds from outside your car: the hum of traffic, the sound of pedestrians, car horns, etc. You can even regulate the speed at which your car moves. Other than that, you have no control over where you’re going, and that’s the point -- kick back and enjoy the ride.

“I missed strolling through my city, even the traffic and the bustle of daily life, so I started looking at online videos of Istanbul,” Şeker told Lonely Planet at the time he launched the site. “It was a lot of fun to see my city, and then I thought it would be great to hear some background radio to get the full experience of driving there. I realized that people all over the world probably missed being on the road too.

“At first I created the app to fight my nostalgia but now I also see it as a new way of exploring cities,” Şeker said.

😊 Please Like and Share this driving app story! Thanks.

Video: Envato Elements

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