Tesla Motors – such an innovative company that is truly worthy of our admiration. Consider how far they’ve come in the last few years; from a humble startup to a solid brand on the cusp of assisting humanity in reducing our environmental impact – in what has felt like a blink of an eye.
Environmental friendliness aside, Tesla has found ways to revolutionize our driving experience; in many ways catapulting us into a new era of vehicular technology heretofore not seen outside the realm of science fiction.
And yet, there’s always a catch. In spite of all the love shown to Tesla lately, one problem remains. Tesla’s vehicles (while worth every penny) tend to live in the neighbourhood of six figures; and for most of us, that’s just too many digits.
But just because you don’t have the bankroll to invest in a Tesla, it doesn’t mean you can’t add a few accessories to usher your ride into the technological age. Props to the guys at Popular Mechanics, who have ferreted out some of the coolest gadgets and apps that will make your ride all the safer and more efficient.
1. Watch your Speed with the Mobile eye 560
While Tesla’s vehicles are being equipped with cameras and sensors to observe the road and recognize things like speed limit signs, in all likelihood yours has no such features. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. Products like Mobile eye 560 allow you to receive real time warnings right to your smartphone as well as to the included Eye Watch™ display. This particular device uses a smart camera located on the windshield and is able to detect more than just traffic signs; Mobile eye 560 also detects the distance between vehicles, lanes markings and pedestrians.
Some people may view this device as an electronic backseat driver; however devices like Mobile eye 560 can help you improve your current driving habits without driving you nuts.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a cheap accessory (the pre-order price is currently sitting around $10,000) but it does offer quite a semi-autonomous driving experience. The Cruise uses sensors to control your vehicle, keep you at a safe distance from the driver in front of you, will keep you within your lane, and will also maintain your vehicle’s speed. Granted, it may take some time before you’re comfortable taking your hands off the wheel while in heavy traffic, but once you reach that level of trust with the Cruise, you’ll be able to do just that.
3. Backup Cameras
Admittedly, backup cameras are becoming more and more standard in newer vehicles, but that won’t help you if you’re driving around in a 2002 Toyota Carolla. Backup cameras like the Boss Audio Rearview Mirror camera or the wireless Rampage Backup Camera, will provide the confidence you need to throw it in reverse knowing that your path is clear.
4. The Navdy a.k.a the coolest gadget on this list
One of the biggest problems with dashboard mounted units is that it takes your eyes off the road; while it sure is great to have navigational assistance, if it means having to take your eyes off traffic or require you to fiddle around with the display, it’s counter productive.
The Navdy is a handsfree, not to mention completely clear HUD (heads up display) that sits on your dashboard. Because it’s a clear unit it does not have the same hangups as conventional mounted navigational products; it can be mounted directly in your line of vision – without comprising your field of view. It displays everything from directions to your destination to notifications received on your smartphone. Phone calls can be answered using a simple hand motion and voice controls allow you to send a tweet or text or even share your location.
This handy device communicates with your vehicle to help you analyze your driving habits, which can help you save money if you aren’t the most efficient of drivers. Notably one of the best features of this device is its vehicle diagnostic help. If your “Check Engine” light comes on, the Automatic sends a report to your smartphone telling you what the problem is, and how you might be able to fix it without a costly trip to the mechanic. Not everyone has the knowledge necessary to identify problems within their vehicle, even with the warning light blinking on the dash. The Automatic therefore is just as much an invaluable tool for new drivers as it is for established ones.
– Source material courtesy of Popular Mechanics