January 7, 2016
John Vomhof Jr.Staff Writer
Smart car technology isn’t taking its foot off the gas as it zooms into CES 2016 this week.
Nine automakers and more than 100 tech companies are showing off the hottest trends, from interactive touchscreens to dash cameras to self-driving cars.
The connected car is fast becoming the standard for new vehicles. Fortunately, you don’t have to take on a big, new car payment to upgrade your ride to “smart car” status. And, considering the average car on the road in the U.S. is 11.5 years old, there’s a huge opportunity for most Americans to update their automotive tech.
[callout] Best Buy carries a wide variety of smart car devices,
and our certified Geek Squad Autotech installers
will make sure the job gets done right. Check out
our connected car buying guide for more info. [/callout]Here are a few ways you can make your current car a little smarter. And don’t forget, Best Buy has the largest team of master-certified Geek Squad Autotechs who will make sure the installation is done the right way.
You can get the functionality of your smartphone right in your vehicle’s dashboard with connected car platforms like Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay. Use the touchscreen or voice control to get directions, listen to music, make calls, and send and receive messages.
Several top automakers are including the functionality in new cars. You can get it in your existing car with a compatible, aftermarket system from top brands such as Kenwood and Pioneer.
Enhanced safety features
Many new cars come equipped with GPS navigation, backup cameras and collision-avoidance systems, but you can also add those features to the vehicle you already drive.
Meanwhile, a new dash cam can record on-the-road incidents to create an eyewitness account of events and prevent faulty claims and losses. Some models include safety features such as speed cameras, and warnings for lane-departures, potential collisions and red lights.
Vehicle tracking and maintenance
Wondering what that “Check Engine” light means? New technology, such as Zubie’s vehicle tracking and engine diagnostic devices, can help by providing real-time engine diagnostics and maintenance alerts. (They simply plug into the diagnostic port under the steering wheel, and some models will even turn your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot.)
And, it’s perfect for concerned parents. Simply use the mobile app to get real-time updates on where your car is and even set check-in points so you’re automatically alerted when the car arrives at home, work or school. It also gathers data to tell you about dangerous habits, such as speeding, hard braking and rapid acceleration.
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