Today, we've become accustomed to smart technology, and the "internet of things" is a household term. Everything from the phones we carry to our refrigerators come packed with computer-like features designed to make our lives more convenient. Automobiles are no different. With things like collision avoidance, self-parking, and even autonomous driving, the draw of the latest and greatest vehicles has a lot to do with the tech that comes packed inside.
But what about those of us who love our older vehicles? Are we going to be left in the dust just because we choose to hang onto an older ride?
The short answer: nope. Luckily for us, there are plenty of plug-and-play solutions that we can install in our older vehicles that will make it feel brand new again.
UPGRADED HEAD UNITS
Solutions like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay bring the latest and greatest tech within arm’s reach while you're driving. They can replace your old car stereo and allow your vehicle to use apps, access online accounts, and connect to your contact list from the phone you carry. And through a third-party screen, both options allow you to stream music, listen to podcasts, use your GPS navigation software, and take calls no matter how old your vehicle may be.
Additionally, tech like Amazon Alexa can be added to your vehicle with Echo Auto, allowing you to access features of your home device. You can turn on house lights, open garage doors, be notified when packages arrive, or unlock doors all from the comfort of your vehicle.
Although rear-facing cameras are mandatory as of 2018, there are plenty of high-quality backup cameras that can be easily installed to make driving and parking your vehicle easier and safer than ever before. Plus, they'll work in conjunction with your upgraded head unit. Many options are designed to fit your exact make and model of vehicle and can be quickly installed, replacing a license plate light.
There are also dash cameras that will record from your windshield at all times, capturing any accidents or collisions, providing documented evidence just in case you need it. Many come with crash sensors that can be set to send emergency notifications as well as basic driver assistance technology that will let you know if you're leaving your lane or a collision is about to happen.
A feature that comes standard on many newer vehicles, there are hundreds of aftermarket remote starters that can be added to your car or truck. Many of these options also provide added security benefits, delivering vehicle stats from a range of up to one mile. With a remote starter installed, you can warm up your vehicle on cold winter days as well as unlock doors and pop your trunk.
Gadgets like the HUDWAY Cast can turn your smartphone into a heads-up display which provides you real time information projected onto your windshield.
ODB PORT ADAPTERS
On cars made after 1996, the ODB Port is a standard attachment, usually used by mechanics for diagnostic purposes or emissions information and located under your steering column. Many third party ODB adapters are available that can plug directly into your port to monitor the performance of your vehicle’s sensors, monitor the driving habits of teenagers or new drivers, and even notify emergency services in the event of an accident. Many models can also provide you specific information on mechanical issues when check engine lights come on or it’s time to change your oil.
THE BOTTOM LINE
These are just a few of the modern tech devices you can add to an older vehicle to bring it into the modern era. If you decide to install one or all of these items, be sure to read the instructions fully and consult your mechanic on any installation that may be more invasive than simply plugging into your cigarette lighter port.