Technology has worked its way into every fabric of our lives. In fact, without technology, managing our day to day lives would be next to impossible. Tech has progressed at a steady and, at times, a blinding pace. Just for a moment, mentally step out of your current space and look at this integration from the POV of how life would look without modern technology. I’d agree it looks pretty scary. Now, what happens when technology fails us?

As we travel, or commute, our means of communication are paramount to our travels. If you frequent one of the local commuting pages on Facebook, a common topic is “what phone carrier do you use?”. That’s followed up by carrier performance and reach questions.

There is nothing more frustrating than cell service failure over Highway 152. Having experienced both Verizon and ATT, I’ve found ATT to be the most reliable for my commuting needs. I get far less dropped calls and only a few call-breaks. It’s maddening when you are having a conversation, and the call drops, or there are intermittent breaks as you are trying to talk. Please know, there are spots over the pass where there is no cell service for more than a half mile.

Here is a funny tech failure. My wife happens to be a residential appraiser, and there were times when I would ride with her to keep her company. In her process, all intended appraisal destinations are programmed into her GPS for the day. On this particular travel day, we were heading to Fresno. Having worked in Fresno in the past, I was familiar with most of the city. However, on this day we were going to an area with which I had no familiarity. As we were chatting, the GPS was telling us to go straight. The only issue is the street dead ended, but the GPS showed the street continuing under the highway. Seeing as the GPS clearly had no idea that the street did not continue, it took us a bit to navigate back to where the street picked up on the other side of the highway.

Now, for a not so funny failure of technology: I decided to visit my parents some years back when they still lived on the Monterey peninsula. I knew this town like the back of my hand. Growing up during my teenage years in that town, I literally traveled on every single street. Whether I know my destination or not, I’ve always used some sort of navigation device; If I know my route, it’s mainly used to predict my arrival time. As I took the correct exit, I headed down the road to my parent’s street. I proceeded down the road as normal, and then the unexpected happened. The road that normally went straight, was now outfitted with a roundabout! Mind you, the navigation app that starts with a “G”, showed the road going straight. With quick thinking, danger was averted.

Safe travels my commuting friends!

Rob Robinson