When it comes to cars, technology will never replace true cool. But it sure is a nice addition. Fortunately, you can experience cutting-edge technology in any car that rivals the features of the most advanced machines. We’ve compiled a list of ten awesome gadgets. So you can improve the fun and safety of your drive, while still turning heads at the red light.
01. OBD Port Tuning
Photo Credit: Amazon
This modification is a quick an easy way to give any car a little extra muscle. The tuner plugs into your car’s OBD-II diagnostic port and connects to your car’s computer to allow you to manipulate engine gauges, valves and components right from the driver’s seat—so you can get a few more horses you never thought you had. But driver’s beware—this little gadget packs a serious punch, and many an engine has been blown due to over-zealous drivers. Check out the Cobb Tuning Accessport V3 and the FlashPro tuners from Hondata. Prices for these mods range from about $590 on up to $1,400.
02. FOBO Tire Plus
Photo Credit: Amazon
FOBO Tire has created the first all-Bluetooth smart tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS). FOBO Tire Plus uses tire sensors and Bluetooth 4.0 to actively monitor tire pressure and provide real-time data to your smartphone 24/7. The tire sensors alert you when a tire needs a little air. And FOBO Tire Plus includes one in-car unit, so you don’t even need to have your smartphone on you to receive alerts. FOBO Tire Plus runs for $229 on the company’s website.
03. Aftermarket infotainment system
Photo Credit: Amazon
Put your smartphone apps on your car’s display screen. Most of these gadgets are compatible with Alpine, Pioneer, and Kenwood systems, too. Apple’s system is called Carplay. Plug it into your iPhone, and texting, calling, maps, music, voice control and recognition, podcasts, videos, and more all integrate into your car’s navigational display. Plus, your connected phone charges up at the same time. Products run from about $470 to $800.
04. Smartphone remote start system
Until recently, after market remote starters involved additional fob on your keychain could easily activate by an accidental bump against other objects in your pocket. Now thanks to companies like Viper, there’s a smartphone app for a remote start system for almost every car on the road. Many of these systems serve as a remote starter, parking meter reminder, and vehicle locator. You can even program the app with your schedule to start the car based on commuting habits. Rates for these systems run from about $4 to $8 per month.
05. Action camera
Action cameras are great for capturing scenic drives in panorama, landscape photos, or footage of races or thrill drives. GoPro has become a household name, but look for a new player to emerge in the first quarter of 2016. Graava boasts competitive features to GoPro, but this action camera edits your footage for you. It uses sensory technology to recognize the good stuff in your footage, so you don’t have to sit through hours of b-roll. One piece of technology that makes this possible is a heart rate monitor—similar to Apple Watch. You can preorder Graava on the company’s website for $249. GoPro cameras range from about $129.99 to $499.99.
06. Dash cam navigator
Garmin has been a leader in the navigation market. Now they’ve created a product that puts you more at ease during your drive. Their new dash camera, the nuviCam LMTHD, provides the maps and directions you’ve come to expect, but it also senses your movement on the road and records video if you get into an accident to make insurance and legal matters less confusing. Forward collision warning notifies you if you’re driving too close to a car in front you. And lane departure warning alerts you if you start drifting out of your lane. The device also enables Bluetooth connection to your smartphone to make talking more safe. The nuviCam runs for $399.99 on Garmin’s website.
07. Modern radar detector
Driving at an appropriate speed means more safety for everyone. A radar detector helps remind you of your surroundings, so you can maintain a safe speed. But clunky devices that produce false alarms and annoying beeps are a thing of the past. The new generation of radar detectors pairs with your smartphone to provide more accurate protection. Escort’s Passport Max2 boasts a 300% increase in range compared to many detectors. It uses GPS technology to provide real-time awareness for radar and laser threats, speed and red-light cameras, and speed limits. It also uses AutoLearn technology, which blocks out false signals. The Escort Passport Max2 runs for $498 on Amazon.
08. Aftermarket HUD
Photo Credit: navdy.com
This technology used to be reserved for fighter jets. Now it can be equipped to anyone’s car. Companies like Navdy have found a way to connect a smart phone to a projector that sends a Head-Up Display (HUD) onto the windshield. This way, driver’s can use features such as GPS navigation while keeping their eyes on the road. The possibilities extend beyond simply viewing directions: hand gesture control recognition, Bluetooth communication, voice recognition, and app notification all integrate into the system. And the driver’s eyes never need to leave the road. Preorder a unit from Navdy’s website for $299.
09. Smart driving assist
Photo Credit: automatic.com
There’s an app for almost everything these days. Now there’s one that allows you to get the most out of your engine. Thanks to the folks at Automatic, you can improve fuel efficiency and monitor engine diagnostics. It even helps drivers understand potentially dangerous engine codes, and it notifies you when you’ve solved the problem, just so you’re sure it’s all fixed. Automatic lists their retail price at $99.95 on the company’s website.