In the United States, an employed person has two conflicting goals:
- To commute to their job as fast as possible (ideally by “hyperloop” or helicopter),
- …and to live as far away from their workplace as possible.
To these ends, thousands of man-hours have gone into new legislation preventing residences near places of employment (zoning laws which help with goal #2, above) and to developing new and complex commute-easing technologies such as self-driving cars or trains that travel at a thousand miles per hour (addressing goal #1).
When accepting a new job, it’s hard to know how long or unpleasant your commute might be.
Although a person can get an idea of the total amount of time a commute is expected to take by checking an online map service, it’s a different matter to actually experience the commute.
In order to figure out if a commute is tolerable, a “Commute Test Drive” is proposed: this is just a piece of software that generates a realistically-long commute on the route that you specify (example in Figure 3, perhaps using data from OpenStreetMap) and then requires that you drive it in real-time.
If a person wants to use public transit instead of driving, then a more sophisticated version of this software might allow the player to simulate the process of walking to a bus stop, waiting for a bus, and sitting on the bus for the correct amount of time.
By enduring the commute in the comfort of their own home (Fig. 2), a person can make a better-educated decision about accepting a job (or buying / renting a house) in a given area.
PROS: Inexpensively allows a person to make informed decisions about where to live and work.
CONS: This software probably already exists in some form as a fan-made Euro Truck Simulator mod.