Cars have come a long way from the slow, fragile contraptions of the early 20th century. Today, modern cars rely upon highly advanced, adaptive computer systems as much as the physical processes in their engines, and that places them firmly into geek territory. Although the average new car comes stuffed with technological features, a GPS system and Bluetooth capability is hardly enough to satisfy a geek. These are five of the best gadgets to improve commuting and make your driving experience more efficient.
Dashboard Video Recorder
A wide-angle camera affixed to the dash will capture everything the driver sees: including any accidents. Being able to provide a documented account of a collision could save you thousands of dollars in an insurance dispute, but even if you never have to use it for its intended purpose, a dash cam is also a fun way to share your exploits on the track or road. Record a scenic drive, or upload your best lap to the Internet to show off to your friends.
Android Diagnostic Kit
The Kiwi Bluetooth phone diagnostic kit uses smartphone technology to provide a powerful and easy user interface for your car. All of the technical details are there, including fuel economy, check engine light sources, generated horsepower and nearly any other measured aspect of performance. It works on every car or truck manufactured after 1996 and simply requires an Android phone, the necessary cable and a specialized application. Geeks love raw data, and they love being able to explore how their actions affect those numbers. The Android diagnostic kit makes all of that information readily available on a moment’s notice.
There’s nothing worse than the inevitable cooling of your coffee or tea as you near the end of your drive, and that assumes you even had time to make a cup. Those problems are both eliminated by heated thermoses, which use car adapters to keep their contents at the perfect temperature. Some even allow you to set them to a precise degree. Try filling your thermos with soup or oatmeal for a quick breakfast on the go.
Closed-Hood Jump Starter
When a car battery dies, you’re forced to find someone with a working vehicle, pop the hoods, connect the two with ungainly cables and then make awkward conversation until your car can start again. Prevent this inconvenience in the future with closed-hood jump starters, which remain attached to the battery and simply plug into another car’s cigarette lighter to begin charging. There’s no fuss for either party and no trying to remember which cable goes where.
Although opinions regarding vehicle head-up displays are still mixed, advocates claim that having relevant information within your line of sight keeps your eyes on the road and improves safety. Geeks will appreciate the sci-fi theme as well as the many practical uses for such devices. An HUD projects a laser image onto the windshield, typically of a car’s speed, fuel levels or GPS directions. Displays may continue to become more advanced and widespread over the next few decades, but they are still a useful tool today.
Jason is a geek that loves Cars! He runs a blog discussing automobiles, helping people with there cars needs.