Our cars are swiftly turning into sophisticated pieces of computer technology, and industry experts are predicting an explosion in the number of apps and options that will come with new cars. In fact, some are even predicting that by 2015, all new cars will be connected to the Internet.
Of course, with the new cars, come the new accessories, so here’s your guide to the top five around. Some old, some new, and all certainly being developed into a better gizmo as we write.
One of the more controversial options around – screens built into the back of the headrests, and bringing the airplane experience to your car. Some parents think these are a God-send, allowing the kids to watch a film or play a game and leave you up front to drive in peace and quiet. Others think that it’s another sign of a lack of attention span in kids and the end of the traditional travel games. Nonetheless they are popular, and they’re not going away any time soon.
2. Hands Free
Cars are getting smarter, but the old hands free system remains the best, and safest, way of using your phone when you’re on the road. Voice command systems are improving so you never have to take your hands, or eyes, off the wheel to make the all-important phone call. Despite what car experts say about integration, your phone and your car are always going to have to be separate, so hands free isn’t going away soon.
These days SatNav is inbuilt into new cars, along with all sorts of other clever location things that can help you park more easily and be better aware of your surroundings. Displays vary, some are even talking of projecting onto the mirror rather than having a screen that you clip in, but whatever way you dress it up, being able to get from A to B without someone reading a map (or having the map upside down) is a great invention and is here to stay.
4. Apps Ahoy
The modern car is controllable from more or less anywhere. The latest generation of Apps allow you to do things that you’d never have thought of before – like defrost the car from bed by flicking a switch – checking the petrol gauge or other internal systems before you’ve finished your breakfast. Alternatively you can use your phone to play podcasts or music through the car speakers without ever having to worry about CDs slipping down the back of chairs again. Your car can tell you where the nearest and cheapest petrol stations are, or what the road conditions are like five miles down the road.
5. Black Boxes
As cars get more expensive and cleverer, there’s no way that car insurance is going to get cheaper, so it has to offer better value for money and the black box is a great solution. An inbuilt system that monitors when, where, and how fast you drive might sound like Big Brother, but if it means cheaper car insurance, and the possibility to independently prove that you weren’t at fault for an accident, then it’s got to be a good thing and can only lead to safer, cheaper journeys. A worthy winner of our top five.
At Allianz Your Cover, you can add Car Contents Insurance to your current car insurance policy with Your Cover. This add-on will protect you against loss, damage or theft of personal possessions left in your car, or in a trailer or roof box attached to your car. For more information, please visit www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.