It’s 2016, and if you only buy a car and nothing else, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of goodies. True, most modern tech won’t interfere with the basic functions of a car, but it can make your life a lot smoother, simpler and easier.
Of course, a lot of modern gadgets have certain stigmas around them – mainly stemming from their lack of use or difficulty of use. While it’s true that a clip on cup holder is pretty useless, and some gadgets are harder to use than others, doesn’t mean they should be disregarded.
Far from it. In fact, car technology can improve your driving life to the point where ferrying the kids everywhere doesn’t feel like a chore. Sometimes, driving isn’t fun, but if you give yourself a reason to step inside the vehicle, you’ll be more inclined to do so.
So, without further ado, let’s get to the meat of the matter. Below, you’ll find several nifty little gadgets that will either make your car safer, smoother or more enjoyable. You’ve a number of considerations to make with each, so let’s start with that.
How do I know all this kit will work with my vehicle?
It’s a good question, as depending on the age of your car, some stuff just may not work with it. If your car is used, it may be slightly older, which means it could be a little bit outdated for certain items. However, used dealers, like Hilton Garage, are obliged to give you a full rundown of any differences between your used car and a brand new one. Did the previous owner remove the sunroof, for example? That won’t affect much, but you get the point.
However, there are some items, like an Apple CarPlay receiver, that can make this modern tech work on older vehicles. That doesn’t mean everything is backwards compatible, but it certainly gives you a few more opportunities if tech is your thing.
With that out of the way, let’s get onto the good stuff…
One of the most important things to bear in mind while driving is to keep both eyes on the road. It only takes one second for the conditions ahead of you to change, be it a pedestrian or another vehicle. But sometimes, the lure of checking your phone just proves too damn tempting, which can result in an accident, at worst.
So, is there a way to check your phone while keeping both eyes on the road? You’ve probably guessed by now that the answer is a resounding yes! There are a variety of different car HUDS on the market, and each can help you out in a different way.
The HUD, or heads up display, will project information from your phone onto the windscreen of your car. This means you can keep both eyes straight ahead, and any important information is displayed on the windscreen in hologram form. Want to read all your texts? Easy. Want to check the weather? No problem.
You can also display maps, so you can find the quickest route to your location without constantly checking your phone. This is also useful for people driving solo, as usually, it takes a passenger to read the map for the driver. Car HUD’s can also show you information about your vehicle, such as the speedometer, fuel gauge and rev counter.
A car heads up display will not only make your drive a lot safer, but they’ll swiftly bring it into the modern age. It just looks damn cool, and with an Iron Man-esque hologram floating above your dashboard, you’ll be the envy of everyone.
Driving Activity Reporter
Driving and owning a car is a lot about memory. You have to remember where all the good parking spaces are, and remember where all the good spots to eat are. You also have to remember how to get there! Furthermore, you may just like more information on your driving habits for whatever reason. And a driving activity reporter can give you just that!
As the name implies, it’ll provide you feedback on every area of your drive. You’ll be able to view locations that you’ve visited – useful if you forget the name of that great restaurant. You can also check the speeds you’ve been traveling at, in case you want to see how safe your driving is.
The driving activity reporter is a relatively cheap car gadget, and operates via USB. That means your car will need to be relatively modern, but this can be retrofitted in. This gadget can come in handy in a variety of scenarios, and could prove very useful to you!
When you leave your car in a dodgy area, it becomes a constant worry that eats away at your mind. Heck, leaving your car anywhere, no matter how dodgy, can be tough sometimes. It’s such an expensive purchase that it’s important to keep it safe at all times.
Well, now you can. To a certain extent, anyway. CarLock – an iPhone app, though there are other options – stays connected to your car via the cloud. This way, it can tell you if it finds any suspicious activity, sending the data right to your smartphone. One of the handles of the car been pulled? Car been broken into? Window been smashed? You’ll know right away, and can act right away.
Obviously, CarLock requires an internet connection, so make sure you have at least a 3G capable phone. It’s also quite an expensive bit of kit, but could prove useful if you value the safety of your car.
And that just about does it! Hopefully, something on this list piqued your interest slightly. Car gadgets and technology aren’t as mainstream as they deserve to be as of yet, despite a wealth of uses.
Car gadgets are a good way to customize your car, to make it look more stylish and modern. While the performance of a car is more critical than the look, should you neglect the latter? Absolutely not! It’s important to make your car feel great as well as run great, and this is a way to do it.