If you miss your daily drive to work or just want to cruise around listening to your favorite radio station, tune in to this new app. The Drive and Listen desktop application immerses you in city life across the globe by following along a virtual driver while getting the latest local updates on the radio. You can make your way up Park Avenue rocking out to “I Want to Break Free” or bob up and down the hills of San Francisco while NPR informs you on the latest. Or you can embed yourself as if you were driving in Downtown Buenos Aires. There are more than 50 cities to choose from.
While the 4K footage is pre-recorded and synced from YouTube (you can actually watch the original video, if click “Video source” on the bottom right), the radio airs real-time music and talk shows, contributing to the app’s realistic experience. You can also opt to allow city noise, including taxis honking and pedestrians chatting. Unlike Google Earth, where you have to continuously click your way through the streets, this app does all the work. You simply choose your car’s speed, kick back, and watch as if you were in a real-life Uber.
This creative way to reclaim a part of the daily routine will be an inspiration to those who live in areas where stay-at-home orders are still in place. And if you’re planning a trip, Drive and Listen will give you a much more realistic feel for a city than a photo on Instagram.
The app is free to use, but its creator, Erkam, will gladly accept the equivalent of a $4 latte through a donation page. Drive and Listen just might be the tool we all need to stoke our wanderlust while staying at home or simply get back to a degree of normalcy.
A version of this article about “Drive and Listen” was previously published on May 29, 2020, and was updated on February 20, 2021, with more information.