Vanderbilt, T. (2008). Traffic: why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us). New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Too bad I didn't know about this book when I wrote "The Design of Future Things": It would have enhanced my book immensely.

(The two books seem to have been written simultaneously, so I didn't know about his, and mine gets an obviously last-minute mention as a half-page long footnote to the last chapter, but with no actual reference within the chapter text. Amusing how it works.)

Vanderbilt covers the myriad aspects of the driving experience. He is a journalist, not a researcher, but for this book, he did his research well, talking with all the major people, uncovering folk lore and scientific lore I never ever heard of, and providing a witty and informative tour of both driving and the role that the auto and modern technology has on society. If you are involved with automobiles, driving, or the design of complex, intelligent products, you must read this book.

Link to for this book.