Since car tech has been incredibly hot lately, you might be looking at your car’s dusty dashboard and lamenting that a new one is just not in the budget. Things like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and heads up displays are really exciting prospects, and real game changers when it comes to driving in this smartphone obsessed world, but a brand new, tech packed car is just so dang expensive! What if we told you that you could make your current car almost as smart as one right off of the production line with just a few hundred dollars? With some of these upgrades you can quickly take your car into the 21st century and beyond!
Navdy Heads-Up Display
Distracted driving is a major problem in the United States. But with notifications popping up on your phone every few seconds, it’s hard to ignore. What if those notifications popped up in a safe way that would allow you to keep your eyes on the road while still telling your friends that you’re only five minutes away? The Navdy Heads-Up Display (available for pre-order at $299) solves all of these problems and more. With the ability to display real time road directions directly on the road in front of you, you’ll never get lost. You’ll also never miss a call or important email. The Navdy Heads-Up Display is one easy and quick way to take your older car into the future.
Zubie Smart Vehicle Monitoring Device
By simply plugging your Zubie Smart Vehicle Monitoring Device ($99) into your car, you’ll have access to every statistic and diagnostic that your car’s computer can provide. These statistics and diagnostics are then broken down for you in easy to read formats via the Zubie app. Zubie gives you the ability to view where your car is at any given time, track exactly how much gasoline your car’s tank has, view any problems or potential problems within your engine, and track exactly how good (or bad) your driving is so you can make improvements. Zubie allows you to keep track of and monitor your car on your smartphone so you know exactly when and why you need to take your car to a mechanic. With a smart device like this, you’ll never go into the shop uninformed.
Viper Smart Start
The Viper Smart Start (various prices depending upon vehicle) will be your savior on hot days, cold days, or days when you just completely forget where you parked. The system, typically installed by a professional, syncs with the Viper Smart Start app that you can download onto your smartphone. This app allows you to remotely start your car, unlock or lock your car, and find your car in the massive mall parking lot. This is the perfect piece of car technology for parents who want to track where their teens are, and, if they’ve been grounded from car use, lock them out of the vehicle – all from a smartphone.
Pioneer AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120)
Obsessed with your smartphone and jealous of the new car owners who get to experience Apple CarPlay and Android Auto? Have no fear, Pioneer AppRadio 4 ($600 from Pioneer, available for $399 elsewhere) is the perfect solution for you. This in dashboard radio replacement is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Siri Eyes Free, MirrorLink, and Pioneer’s own AppRadio feature. It’s the perfect option for those who would like to access their smartphone safely in the car. The AppRadio 4 is also the best solution for anyone who wants the latest car tech, without purchasing a brand new car.
Vinli (pre-order for $149) is another car plug in adapter that claims to turn any car into a smart car. The main feature that sets Vinli apart from the rest is the fact that it includes a 4g LTE Wifi Network that allows people who are data concious to connect their smartphones, tablets, and even laptops and stream anywhere they’re with their car. Vinli provides a large range of apps for your smartphone that you can use with the device. These apps will allow you to monitor your car’s computer, location, and service needs. With a massive amount of developers and money working on Vinli, there is a good chance that a heads-up display compatible with the device will be available shortly. So, if you’re the type of person who likes to get in at the ground floor and be an early adopter of technology, Vinli is for you.
Knight Rider USB Charger
Now what would a list about car technology be without including the original smart car, K.I.T.T.? This Knight Rider USB charger ($29.99) plugs right into your car and gives you the feeling of driving in the Knight Rider Trans Am from the comfort of your personal vehicle. The USB charger comes packed with some great one liners from the 1980’s show, including “I am a Knight Industries 2000 with a thousand megabits of memory and a 1 nanosecond access time.” If only K.I.T.T. could see how far technology has come now, and how small 1,000 megabits is!
Are there any smart car technologies you wish you could put in your car? Let us know!