Gadgets are everywhere aren’t they? Some of us love them, others hate them. Whatever you think about the use of the latest gadgets, it’s almost impossible not to be amazed by some of the innovations and products on the market today. Even in-car tech is evolving with a vast range of different gadgets inside your vehicle as standard or available to buy.
In the past you may have had a cassette player and a standard radio in your car, along with the interior lights and… that was as technologically advanced as it got! Today you have sat nav devices that are designed to guide us to our destinations, other gadgets that play our favourite songs through the car stereo and even devices that help us to park!
We have even see car manufacturers working on electric cars in an attempt to find a new form of fuel that is cheaper, more efficient and more widely available than traditional fuels like petrol and diesel.
The future of motoring and in-car tech
However the industry evolves in the coming years one thing is for certain, technology will be at the heart of it. With the range of in-car tech available today it’s almost guaranteed that the next batch of vehicles produced by the various manufacturers will have some kind of ground-breaking innovations that will help and entertain either the driver or the passengers.
So whether you’re a fan of gadgets or not, motoring-related technologies are here to stay. You may find yourself shouting at the kids to put down their iPads or to switch off their games consoles, but without in-car tech we would still be relying on paper-based maps to guide us and games of “I spy” for entertainment.
In this guide we will take a look at a range of the latest in-car tech, explaining what the various devices do and just how beneficial they could be to you whether it’s a short journey to the shops or a long-distance drive to the coast with the family.
The latest in-car tech
A lot of people like recording their journeys, especially when they go out on a bike ride through the woods or along the coastline. In recent years, however, the technology from the devices used to capture the footage has been adapted for cars and motorbikes, enabling drivers and riders to not just film what they pass on the roads, but also the behaviour of other road users.
Dash cams, also known as accident recorders, are mounted inside the vehicle and can be switched on to record the duration of a journey – some even in full HD. This footage can still be taken and used as a reminder of a particularly beautiful piece of road or the scenery, but it can also be used in the event of an accident to prove to the police and insurers just who was at fault.
Accident recorders are relatively small devices, but they can capture a wide field of vision that enables the driver or rider to record where other road users came from and what they did that resulted in the incident.
Parking sensors and reversing cameras
Two of the most difficult manoeuvres for new and experienced drivers are parking, and reversing – and that’s not even mentioning reverse parking! Drivers get nervous about bumping into other vehicles or clipping the curb, and they resort to finding simple spaces or those they can drive straight out of even if they are some way from where they are going.
To help to counter the nerves a lot of cars are fitted with parking aids such as parking sensors and reversing cameras that provide audible and visual warnings as they get closer to a vehicle or potential hazard. In the case of parking sensors the noise gets increasingly high-pitched as the vehicle reverses and gets closer to another object – such as a car, lamp post or wall. This gives the driver a clear indication on how close they are and helps them to avoid small bumps.
A reversing camera performs a similar function but instead of providing an audible warning to the driver it displays footage from the camera on the dashboard or centre console. This helps the driver to reverse into a space with much more confidence.
It isn’t just new cars where you can feel the benefit of parking sensors or a reversing camera, however, as there are now numerous products that you can buy and fit to your current vehicle with the help of an expert.
A lot of vehicle owners will already have sat navs in their cars, either built-in in the case of modern vehicles or as a relatively recent addition. However, there are still a lot of motorists who are yet to take advantage of the various benefits that a sat nav can have on their all-round driving experience.
Sat nav devices utilise satellite technology to direct drivers to their destination by either the shortest, quickest or most fuel-efficient route. They provide both audible and visual instructions to drivers, taking away the stress of venturing into “the unknown” and removing the need for more traditional paper-based maps that would require the driver to pull over if they were in the car on their own.
Music is one of the most popular pastimes and some people just can’t get through a journey without it. Car stereos have evolved from large units that played the local radio station and a cassette into devices that will play songs from iPods and MP3 players and that will even pick up digital radio stations wherever you are.
Car stereos help drivers to get through long journeys and they will also be able to listen to traffic news as it develops, helping them to take a diversion if required. Cars already come with stereos built-in by the manufacturer or through a partnership with a particular car audio brand, but owners are able to upgrade their car stereos according to their own preferences and requirements.
In-car DVD players
There is nothing more frustrating for a driver than children (and adults in many cases), sat in the back of the car or in the passenger seat complaining that they’re bored. With nowhere to go and the in-car entertainment options exhausted it can make the journey seem like it’s taking forever.
Through in-car DVD players, however, you can keep everyone entertained throughout the journey while you focus on the task of driving. Passengers can watch their favourite films on screens that are either attached to the front head rests or built into them, and you can even install a screen on the centre console for the passenger in the front if required.
It is even possible to utilise a highly innovative form of technology where the in-car DVD player doubles up as a sat nav, allowing the front passenger to watch a film on the same screen as the driver is using for directions because of clever tilting on the screen.
Bluetooth hands free car kits
It is illegal to use a mobile phone behind the wheel, but professional drivers sometimes need to take calls. Rather than breaking the law, it’s worth investing in Bluetooth hands free kits that enable the driver to make and receive calls without having to touch their mobile phones.
Some systems will turn the car stereo and speakers into a phone, while other hands free kits will involve an earpiece and microphone so that you can keep both hands on the wheel at all times.
To view the full range of in-car technology, visit the dedicated section on the Euro Car Parts website today or visit your local branch. With more than 200 stores across the UK, you’re never too far from us! For more advice and product guides, come back to the Euro Car Parts blog soon.