Although much of the focus in the technology industry centers on what you can do on a phone or home, your car is another great place to utilize technology and expand your productivity.
There are currently a slew of devices that will allow you to do everything from turning your old car into a smart car or give you better information on vehicle diagnostics. And along the way, you can ultimately learn more about your car.
Below are four outstanding devices that have earned both rave reviews from critics and users, alike. Best of all, they’ll give you the technology you typically only find in luxury vehicles or new cars.
Kenwood In-Dash Receiver
If you’re looking to add Apple’s CarPlay to your vehicle, the Kenwood In-Dash Receiver is the way to go. The device comes with a 7-inch touchscreen and can be set into your dash if you prefer it there. It comes with built-in navigation and with assistance from Bluetooth, you can even connect your phone to it and use it as a speakerphone.
Kenwood’s receiver can be directly connected to both HDMI and MHL connections, so you can plug into a smartphone and many other devices. Be aware that Best Buy recommends you use a Geek Squad professional to install the unit in your car.
Kenwood’s Receiver usually costs $850, but you can get it now on sale for $600—a $250 savings.
Alpine offers an outstanding option for Android Auto, Google’s smart car alternative to Apple’s CarPlay. With the Alpine Receiver, you can get a device that features both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in one. It even comes with a SiriusXM tuner, so whether you’re a Howard Stern fan or just want commercial-free music, you can listen to that with an additional subscription.
Alpine’s receiver also comes with a 7-inch screen and supports online radio, including Pandora. You can even attach it to a rear seat entertainment center by hooking monitors up to the device via an HDMI cable.
Alpine’s receiver usually retails for $700, but you can get it now for $600—a $100 savings.
Garmin Dash Cam 45
If you’re interested in recording what’s happening ahead of you at any point during your journey, you’ll need a dash cam and Garmin makes a superb one.The Garmin Dash Cam 45 is GPS-enabled and can record both high-quality images and video in up to full-HD resolution. It comes with a 2.1-megapixel sensor and a 4GB microSD card that you can use to store your multimedia recordings. A G-Sensor feature will automatically save any incidents, and the GPS functionality in the Dash Cam means you can track where you were when it occurred. You can also connect the camera to a mobile app to share incidents with friends.
Garmin’s Dash Cam 45 usually costs $150, but you can get it now for $120—a $30 savings.
If you’d like more insight into your vehicle—say, how it’s operating and what might be wrong with it—consider getting the FIXD vehicle diagnostic device.
With FIXD, you can plug the unit into the OBDII port on your car. From there, you can access the car’s computer to find out why your check engine light is on, see how your mileage is performing, and get quick information on what different warning codes mean in the vehicle. Better yet, you can find out what’s wrong with your car and bring that information to the mechanic to keep costs down. FIXD’s device costs $60.