Car technology is evolving as fast as other technologies, but it's a little annoying given that cars are much more expensive to upgrade than a phone or tablet. Factor in the growing lineup of cheap cars that offer no bell and whistles to talk about, and many of us will feel that we are lagging behind when it comes the latest gadgets for our vehicles, but do not worry, we are here to help.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to buying a new car to get a handful of new features. There are many gadgets and gadgets that you can buy to "improve" your car and make it a little less stupid than it was before. With gadgets like these, you will no longer have to feel embarrassed by your lack of music choice when traveling on the road or to rely on paper maps to find out where you are going.
We have rounded some of our favorites. Each of them will cover many situations where you could do something a little more "smart" in your car.
1. Dash ($ 10 – $ 99)
Since 1996, most cars have an OBD-II port, a form of diagnostic connection usually located under the dashboard. Thanks to it, you can easily plug in a special adapter that allows you to easily access data on the health of your vehicle and its past.
Dash is a free application that, connected to one of these sensors, transmits information such as distances traveled, routes, fuel consumption and engine health. In doing so, he can advise you on how to drive more efficiently, tell you where you parked at all times, and even offer a form of ranking function for the competition for mileage with friends. It will work alongside various services such as Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Dropbox, Evernote and IFTTT too.
To use Dash, you need to buy an OBD-II analysis tool. The prices are varied, some scanners being available for only $ 10. It depends on the age of your car and if you need it to work for both Android and iPhone. We recommend spending a little more than the bare minimum, in order to get the best quality product. For an Android-based solution, the  ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth is a great option, while if you are an iPhone user, the Bluetooth adapter Carista OBD2 is our recommended choice with the Dash software, but if you want to use the software that came with the product, ScanTool does not have iOS application).
The best part? Dash can potentially save you money in the long run. It will translate these disconcerting engine warning lights, tell you what's wrong with your vehicle, before suggesting how much it will probably cost to repair. It will even automatically notify your close friends and family if there is a problem and you are stuck.
2. Pyle Car Reverse Camera ($ 60)
Envious of those with cars that have parking sensors? Just there with you. They are great for getting into these tight spaces easily and ensuring that there are no children or pets in your blind spot. The Pyle Car Backup Camera is a great way to improve your car for safety and ease of parking.
It offers a 7-inch HD screen that you ride on the dashboard, as well as a camera for the rear of the vehicle. It works in the dark and is waterproof, which means you can always see what is happening behind you, be it black or driving rain. A precise display of the distance scale line helps you to align properly in your space, thus avoiding you to depend solely on your exterior mirrors.
The Pyle Car Reversing Camera will not be as effective as more expensive alternatives on the latest cars equipped with additional proximity sensors, but, as an 'alternative to the budget, it will go a long way in making you feel like if your car was a little smarter (and safer) than before.
3. Vantrue R3 Dash Cam ($ 110)
It is increasingly useful to have a dashcam recording while driving. If you have an accident, you have instant video footage to see what has actually happened, but it can also be fun to watch the scenic drives you've taken.
The Vantrue R3 Dash Cam offers a wide range of features. Its Super HD video quality means that it will spot registration plates accurately within 5 feet, as well as work at night. A wide angle of 170 degrees means that it can capture 4 lanes of traffic without distortion. A parking mode and a motion detector also mean that it will keep an eye on any person or thing that comes into close contact with your car while it is parked too. It even includes a stop motion feature, so, safety concerns aside, you can have a little fun making movies of your travels on the road.
4. TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver ($ 15)
If your car does not have a Bluetooth connection, there are many options to add the functionality easily. TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver is one of the simplest, provided you have an AUX port on your car stereo. Simply plug it directly into the auxiliary audio jack, and you can use hands-free calling and music playback in no time. The adapter will even be easily between two Bluetooth-enabled devices as and when needed. It will also work alongside Siri, thanks to its built-in microphone, making it a very useful tool for iPhone owners.
5. Criacr Bluetooth FM Transmitter ($ 17)
No AUX port? I know your pain. Fortunately, there is another easy and inexpensive way to add Bluetooth, thanks to the FM transmission of your radio. Plug the Bluetooth FM Transmitter Criacr into the cigarette lighter of your car and you can tune your radio into the right signal to play music from your phone or transfer calls to the top speakers of your car.
The gadget also provides two USB charging ports, which means your charging needs are pretty well taken care of. It may not be the most elegant or elegant solution, but it does the trick.
6. ION Audio Cassette Adapter ($ 20)
Your car is as old as dirt or you just want a really retro solution? The ION Audio Cassette Adapter is a good choice, which easily transforms the underutilized cassette deck of your car into a Bluetooth music receiver. It avoids the problems of unsightly cables or complex installation procedures, connecting your songs to your car radio as fast as you can in the deck. The ION adapter has a battery life of 4+ hours (you can charge it, outside the tape deck, with a micro-USB cable).
7. Garmin DriveLuxe 51 ($ 260)
The humble satnav is far from humble these days and an incredibly easy way to make your old car a little more recent. The Garmin DriveLuxe 51 is one of the satnavs spec specters out there. It offers a life of updated maps and traffic reports, as well as live parking information so you always know where to park.
In addition to that, there is Bluetooth and WiFi, smart notifications and voice activation, which means you will not have to touch anything on the road. A 5 "touchscreen ensures that maps are clear and offers a similar experience, like those all-in-one fancy dashboard units you've admired on newer vehicles.
In addition, for periods when your phone is out of battery or if you have no data reception, the Garmin's GPS functionality is a real lifesaver. Thanks to this, you will always be able to follow where you are and where you are going, whether you are in the middle of nowhere or in a busy city.
This is the kind of solution that is especially ideal if you are looking for something that might help a less-savvy parent or friend, because it's friendly and does not depend on cellular connectivity or d & # 39; A data plan.
8. Sony XAV-AX100 6.4 "Multimedia Receiver ($ 350)
A more expensive and complicated upgrade for your car, the Sony XAV-AX100 6.4 "Media Receiver is a great buy if you want to replace the stereo of your car with something else. a little more modern.The unit offers voice control via Apple Car Play and Android Auto, touchscreen controls and powerful equalizer functions for the music fan.
If you have a rear camera installed, it will also help you park. The Media Receiver will take a little more effort to install than the other options here (and if you're not sure you can separate your dashboard and do the wiring yourself, there will be some installation fee), but it's the most effective solution if you want to ensure that your car is as up-to-date as a brand new vehicle.
There is also an upgraded version of the same receiver that, for an additional $ 100, includes a CD player (ideal for people with extensive physical media collections) and a Sirius satellite radio antenna.
9. HUDWAY Glass ($ 50)
In the near future, we will be able to enjoy a technology like Exploride offering a head-up display on your windshield, offering all the features imaginable without you needing to look far from the road. It's a bit far, but where HUDWAY Glass makes sense, offering you a taste of the future that is a little heavier on novelty than functionality (but always very cool).
The product is a simple device that you place on your dashboard, then put your smart phone on the screen. The oblique screen then, like a teleprompter, immediately reflects everything that is displayed on your smartphone towards you. In conjunction with special applications, you can enjoy navigation features, trip information, a speedometer and details on average speed and mileage.
It's a little rudimentary and it will only work with certain applications (you can not use Google Maps, Waze or any other application that is not specifically designed for this design.) Reflected screen). However, at an economical price, it's in a potentially cool enough way to make your car rather futuristic without splashing for a BMW 7 Series or any of the other high-end cars that come with HUDs.
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