Today’s cars run on technology. The latest tech keeps us safe, brings us better fuel efficiency and entertains us while we’re on the road. Most of these improvements are under the hood but some of the newest and most useful tools have made their way onto our dashboards. Here’s a list of the five car gadgets you just can’t live without.
- Backup Camera
These gadgets are becoming standard on new cars. Even if it isn’t built in, rear-facing cameras can be added to your vehicle for a small price for the functionality they offer. Backup cameras let you reverse with confidence. In the old days, we all had to try to contort ourselves and bend our necks to the right angle to see what was behind us. If you had too much stuff in your back seat forget about it. Rear-facing cameras let us see what is behind us no matter what. Even better, they give us a view of objects close to the ground that were too low to see out of the back window.
- Heads Up Display
HUDs can add a coolness factor to any car. They project crucial information like speed, RPM, and the gear you are in onto a pane of glass that you can see without taking your eyes off the road. These gadgets plug into your car’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) port. HUDs can show you any of the information that available from your car’s computer. Some more expensive models can even connect to your phone to provide turn-by-turn directions.
- Bluetooth Receiver
Another bit of tech that is common to find built-in to newer models, Bluetooth receivers allow us to make hands-free calls or listen to our music through the car’s stereo. No matter what your factory stereo supports, there’s a Bluetooth adapter out there that will work with it.
- Diagnostic Reader
Ever wonder what is going on under the hood? We normally think of diagnostic readers as the gadget that tells us what is wrong when a check engine light turns on but they can do much more. Newer readers can give you detailed statistics about your engine’s performance. There are some Bluetooth capable models that sync with your phone and will record all your driving data. Premium devices will even keep track of where you parked for you.
- Proximity Sensors
Do you remember that sinking feeling you felt after crushing your car’s bumper into a parking pylon? Those days are over. Adding proximity sensors to your car can give you a fair warning when you are about to hit a nearby object. Cars that come with these advanced systems already installed often sport visual indicators that tell you which sensor has been tripped.