Traveling by car can at times be stressful, particularly on those long journeys. Drivers and passengers alike often have to tackle being bored, which as many parents will agree, can be even worse with your children in the back. Not only this though, there’s the task of successfully finding your way to your destination, while ensuring you are always safe and secure behind the wheel.
Luckily, thanks to the wonders of technology there are a number of in-car gadgets that can alleviate some of these concerns. So to help you out, we’ve put together this useful guide to show you just a few of these stress-busting gadgets. From built-in systems specific to particular makes of car, to universal tech that can be used in any vehicle, read on to find out more.
Siri Eyes Free
As you might have guessed from the name, this involves Apple’s Siri service. For the uninitiated, this feature is exclusive to iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads where you can ‘ask’ questions or give commands to Siri. He (or she) carries out your requests or answers your query by speaking back to you.
The Siri Eyes Free service allows you to connect your Apple device with your car and use the Siri feature through hands-free voice-activation. Basically this is a safe and convenient way of using your device as you never have to take your eyes of the road or hands off the wheel.
The service can be installed in a variety of cars but in 2013 Honda revealed this feature would be available in their upcoming Accord models. True to their word, this was the case and you now have the option to have this installed. It’s certainly a great way to aid navigation and contact people on the go, as through spoken commands alone you can send texts, make calls, check the traffic and much more!
EE Buzzard (In-car 4G Hotspot maker)
The 4G network can allow you to access high-speed internet on phones and tablets, which is ideal for high-usage browsing, streaming and downloading. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a tariff with this service, but thanks to this handy device from EE you can turn your car into a 4G WiFi hotspot.
Shaped like a drinks can with a USB dongle inserted into it, the device plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and, providing there is enough signal, can support up to 10 different devices at once. This is perfect for keeping the kids entertained as they can browse the web and watch films to their heart’s content, making those long journeys far more manageable.
Audi now offer you their ‘Audi Connect’ technology as a feature in their vehicles. A small screen is mounted on the dashboard and is essentially Audi’s own exclusive tablet, providing you with the features of a laptop in the comfort of your own car.
Boasting high-speed wireless internet while you travel, you have the most up-to-date navigation possible. Equally, the innovative technology monitors the state of your car and offers ‘intelligent assistance’ to make your driving safer. This includes: controlling the distance between you and the car in front when using cruise control, automatic adaptive lights and reduced fuel consumption – to name just a few!
BMW Night Vision with Dynamic Light Spot
In a similar vein to the above, in the BMW 5 Series Touring model you can enjoy this useful device. With a front-mounted infrared, thermal imaging camera, the Night Vision feature detects people and animals up to 300 metres away. These are then displayed on the car’s dashboard control console, helping to keep you, and others, safer when driving at night.
On top of this, when something is detected, the Dynamic Light Spot in the front lights illuminates them. Furthermore, the car assesses the potential danger in the situation and sounds a warning signal for the driver, again ensuring you avoid any accidents.
PNY Dual USB Car Charger
A cheap and cheerful piece of tech that can be used in any car. Simple in its functionality, it really is what it says on the tin – a means for you to charge two devices at once, stopping any arguments at the same time.
The device itself plugs into your cigarette lighter and has an adaptor for two chargers to slot into it. It’s also glows a luminous blue colour in the dark to show you it is in full working order.
BodyGard 5-in-1 Keychain Emergency Tool
Being prepared for any situation is part and parcel of driving. While we would never wish to breakdown or be in an accident, it’s important to still be ready for anything before you get behind the wheel. This is where this dynamic keychain for your car keys can certainly come in handy.
Despite its relatively small size at only 3” long, this impressively sturdy keychain can help get you out of a difficult situation. The five features on offer are: a spring-loaded glass breaker, seatbelt cutter, LED torch, sonic alarm and a flashing red light for attracting attention. This little gadget can certainly go a long way!
So there you have it, just a few gadgets you can have to make sure your travels are as stress-free as possible. Be sure to let us know what you think, especially if you’re lucky enough to already own some of them. Or let us know which one is your favourite!