It doesn’t take much to turn your car into a “smart home on wheels” all it takes is some creative thinking and the right technology. From smartphone chargers to dash cams to multimedia speaker systems, these cool new products will make your time in the driver seat more enjoyable and more productive.
You probably drive to work and around town if you’re like most people. Most cars nowadays come with a decent amount of car gadgets accessories, but there is always room to add more to your car, and there are plenty of tech toys that can make your car that much better or are simply cool to have. This becomes even more true if you own an older car that didn’t come with many techs, and you don’t really want to spend the money to buy a new car when your current one is perfectly serviceable. So, here are 10 pieces of best car gadgets that can be added to your car to make it better.
#10: Backup Camera
While most modern cars come with a backup camera, it’s still an excellent tech upgrade to make if your car is an older one and lacking in this particular piece of safe driving equipment. Doubly so as most of these cameras now include lane departure sensors. However, if you are not experienced in modifying car electronics, this can be difficult to install, so it is best to have a repair shop do the installation. It will cost more, sure, but you don’t have to worry about tying the wrong cables together and having a nonfunctional brick of a camera slapped to the back of your car and having to redo the entire installation to get it working.
#9: Dash Camera
These can be quite useful for insurance claims and the like, but a mounted dash cam (and possibly a mounted rear equivalent as well) can easily be set up to catch a snapshot of any car and driver that try to pull off a quick hit and run on your car. The flipside is that some camera systems automatically send the data off to your insurance company or the police, which you may want to avoid if the incident is your fault and you don’t want that on record.
#8: BOSS Audio Systems Multimedia Car Stereo
While USB connections and USB ports in cars aren’t exactly unheard of, if you don’t have a very new car, then you probably don’t have this feature. Lacking this, your options for charging a phone or playing music off of a mobile device through your car’s stereo system will be quite limited. Another reason this type of system can be worth it because the audio systems that come stock in most cars tend not to be very good so upgrading the audio is usually worth the investment.
#7: Tile Mate
If you’re like many people, you are pretty familiar with the rage-inducing frustration of losing your car keys. The Tile Mate is a tracking device with quite a decent range, so you can use your cell phone to track down your tickets, removing that frustrating moment when you realize you’re late for work and don’t know where your keys are. Better still, it works in reverse, so you can use the tracker to find your phone as well.
#6: Wireless Tire Pressure Monitor
However, if you are not experienced in modifying car electronics, this can be difficult to install, so it is best to have a repair shop do the installation.
#5: Remote Start
If you didn’t opt to get a car with a remote start when you purchased your vehicle (maybe it was too old to have that feature or didn’t want to drop the extra cash), fear not for you can add it after the fact. Depending on the model, you can control the system from your phone and may even allow you to monitor driving details like intended destination and speed using an app on your phone. However, these systems are usually quite difficult to install and will likely necessitate a professional installation job to get done.
#4: Coffee Machine
If you already live primarily on the road, then the logical next step is to take your coffee machine with you. Several espresso machines are available that plug into the 12V port, enabling you to brew coffee while you drive. Even if you aren’t someone who is always on the go and doesn’t have time for the morning coffee that most people enjoy, this can be useful. If you find yourselves on the road and need a quick jolt of caffeine, then your body will thank you for having the foresight to bring one of these along.
#3: Heads Up Display
This technology is becoming more popular in newer vehicles to display things like fuel level, mileage, and current speed directly on the windshield, so there is no need to look away from the road for a quick pace or gas check. While precious few cars now have this feature come stock, some phone apps can be paired with certain pieces of hardware to enable you to use your phone to project this information onto the windshield and create a similar effect.
#2: Smartphone Mount
If you are using your smartphone for literally anything in your car, you need a phone mount. Trying to use a phone for anything while it is just lying around is not only stupid and likely to get you killed but can result in the phone becoming a missile of death if you have to take a particularly sharp turn. There are plenty of these mounts out there, so do yourself a favor and pick one up.
#1: Custom Head Unit
If you have a backup/parking camera, then this is somewhat redundant. Still, it is possible to install a replacement head unit to give you access to things like music playback via USB and taking phone calls through your car’s stereo system. However, while this is very useful, it is essential to make sure you get a suitable unit as the faulty head unit is unlikely to fit your particular automobile. And, like a lot of more complex gear, this will require particular installation.
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