PHIL IN THE BLANK: Where to go

I’m now in my 50s, but I’m still up for more technology and automation.
Directionally challenged my whole life, I used to pore over map books and painstakingly write down directions turn by turn. I’d scout new places, a couple dry runs so I’d know how to get somewhere before I had to be there.
Mapquest was an improvement. I usually wouldn’t be able to print out directions, so I would still have to write them down.
Early versions of smartphone navigation programs were better, but required looking at the phone to follow the directions.
Now I’m just straight-up told where to go by computers in my phone and car. Maps and directions are displayed on a large dashboard monitor. The computer shows and tells me where to turn, what lane to use, how many miles are left, and estimated time of arrival.
I don’t bother to learn much about my route nowadays. So driving from a family-reunion trip near Minneapolis, Minn., back to my home in Flint, I was listening to Youtube livestreams with a map on the center display when the computer informed me of a large traffic backup up ahead in the Chicago area.
Do I want a faster route, she wanted to know. Certainly, I thought, pressing the “ok” button. Eventually I realized I was now heading for Milwaukee.
“Wait, you’re not directing me to the ferry, are you,” I asked.
I checked the phone, and yes, my route now included a straight line across the middle of Lake Michigan.
I had checked into that before. Fare info isn’t easy to find, but from what I could gather it would cost about $130-$200 to cross by boat, with tickets needed for myself and my car.
I reset the program and selected a new route sticking to highways along the lake’s southern shore. It didn’t add much time to the trip. How fast does that ferry go, anyway?
The map programming must factor in cost at least a little, or else it could have just directed me to the Minneapolis airport, where I could charter a cargo plane to fly me and my car to Bishop Airport. But more than $100 extra apparently isn’t too much for its coding.
I need to find the “cheapness” setting and crank that up a bit.

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