Driving remains one of America’s favorite past times. Whether hitting Route 66 for a scenic, cross-country adventure or simply tooling around town, driving can be just as much fun today as it was 100 years ago. But there are lots of modern gadgets out there that can improve the classic driving experience.
You can up the comfort factor of any journey with these handy gadgets for a more enjoyable car ride. Just remember to use them wisely and not to let them become a distraction while you’re behind the wheel.
Use Voice-Activated Charging Devices for Hands-Free Convenience
There are a number of things your vehicle can do that you’re likely not taking advantage of. For instance, your vehicle is an excellent power source that can charge a variety of electronic devices while you’re on the go. Since most of us no longer have a need for cigarette lighters, that power can instead be used to juice up USB-enabled devices such as phones, cameras and other items.
- Get driving directions
- Listen to audiobooks
- Online shop
- Access your favorite tunes
Save Time by Brewing Your Espresso in the Car
Having Alexa in your vehicle isn’t the only neat thing you can do while on the road. Did you know you can actually brew espresso on the go?
The Handspresso espresso machine for the car allows you to make a perfect cup of espresso inside your car. Rather than spend precious minutes brewing your morning pick-me-up in your kitchen or waiting in line at the coffee shop, the Handpresso lets you make your cup of java on the go. It plugs into your car’s 12V power source and completes a brew cycle in as little as two minutes.
But remember not to try to brew and pour your espresso while driving. Enjoy your espresso on the go from the safety of your parked car only.
Avoid Flat Tires With a Tire Pressure Sensor
While many late-model cars come equipped with tire pressure sensors, there are many vehicles that don’t have this feature. No sensor? No problem.
Nonda has created a tire pressure monitor that can be used on any vehicle. The Zus Smart Tire Safety Monitor replaces the tire cap on each tire with one that includes a sensor. Those sensors connect to an app on your smartphone, allowing you to monitor tire pressure, slow leaks and temperature.
Upgrade Your Navigation System for Efficient Road Trips
About a decade ago, only higher-end vehicles featured in-dash navigation systems. Today, this option is available from many manufacturers—even on entry-level vehicles.
Yes, you can just use your smart phone as a navigation system. But something to consider is a heads-up display system.
Some heads-up displays integrate with your phone and project a small, transparent screen on your windshield.
These kinds of heads-up displays show:
- Speed limit
- Text messages
Hudway makes such a display. It’s not only cool and futuristic looking, but it means you don’t have to look down at your phone at maps or text messages, so you can truly keep your eyes on the road.
Or, for those who want a more traditional navigation solution, Garmin still offers one of the most reliable and comprehensive navigation systems available that sticks right onto your windshield and doesn’t need smartphone integration. The DriveAssist 51 not only provides directions, speed, collision warnings and lane departure alerts, it also features a dash cam that lets you record video of any on-road incidents.
Keep Your Food at the Perfect Temperature While On the Road
A common problem most drivers have when traveling long distances is a practical way to keep food or drinks hot or cold.
Drivers now have a solution with mini fridges and electric heaters that allow you to either keep things cold and, sometimes, keep them warm.
The Cooluli Mini Fridge offers four liters of space to keep beverages and other items cool. If the need arises to keep things warm, then this thermoelectric device easily switches from cold mode to warming temperatures.
The Chefman Mini Portable Compact Fridge offers the same features as the Cooluli but in black or white models. Both devices are safe and Freon-free, making them eco-friendly. You can also charge them at home using a standard AC wall socket as well as your car’s 12v car charger.
Just be careful when using these portable fridges if you’re driving. Better yet, have one of your road trip buddies in charge of the unit while you’re driving so it doesn’t become a distraction while you’re concentrating on the road.
With the right gadgets, you can do everything from monitor your tires, navigate to your destination more safely, and even enjoy a hot cup of java—all without leaving the comfort of your car.