Distance Driver Being messed up by Follow Path Constraint?

Hi everyone,

I downloaded the scene for the splash scene for blender 2.82:

It has a cable car with a cool gear that spins. I knew the gear was driven by a driver, but I never play with drivers so I downloaded the file to check it out and learn something. It’s just a distance driver between to empties set to drive the Y Euler Rotation. The gear is parented to the empty that controls the cable car, and the second empty is left in the back static. The cable car empty is using a follow path constraint with the offset animated to follow a curve. Basically that is the setup, and it seems easy enough, but when I try to recreate it the driver doesn’t change the rotation of the gear.

I think this is because technically the location transform of the gear is technically not changing, the follow path constraint doesn’t seem to update it so you can do additional animation on top of it…and yet that is what is happening in the source file. I’m clearly missing something? How do I make this driver work with the follow path constraint?

Ok, I figured this out on my own, but I don’t understand the solution. In order to make this work, I need to go to the NLA and make sure the action of the follow curve is assigned to the gear as well, not just the trainempty. Could someone who understands this explain it to me?