Turn Your Auto Into A Smart Car With These Clever Gadgets
Mar 14, 2016 19:28
All autos built from the mid-1990s onwards come with an OBDII diagnostic port. In a nutshell, this is where auto shops plug in computers to determine the source of many faults. Cars these days have built-in microprocessors called ECUs. The acronym is short for "Electronic Control Unit" in case you wondered!
You might not think it, but it's possible to turn even a basic car into a "smart" one using its OBDII port. Many tech manufacturers have built devices that plug into those ports. Upon doing that, you unlock all kinds of useful features. Here are some examples that you are bound to use each day:
Some high-end cars like BMWs offer "connected car" functionality. This is where you can manage various aspects of the vehicle remotely. For instance, you can disable the alarm and unlock the doors without needing your key fob.
These days, it's possible to add such functionality to any car using an OBDII gadget. Auto parts maker Delphi is one such company that offers this functionality.
Do you let your offspring borrow your car? Do you worry about how they drive when you're not sat next to them? It doesn't matter whether you drive a Ford Fiesta or a Porsche 911. You want to make sure that your kids don't drive like maniacs on the road.
Although it might seem a little "Big Brother" you can track their driving behavior. And, no, this doesn't involve installing secret cameras in your car!
There are OBDII gadgets that can record their speeds and driving style. You can then access that information using a computer. Some gadgets offer 3G connectivity. That gives you the option to look at real-time data as they drive.
Your car might have an immobilizer and alarm system. But, that still won't stop a determined thief from stealing it! Short of hiding your car out of sight, there is little else you can do to disable it.
Should the worst happen, one thing you can do is track where it is. That way, law enforcement officials can stop the car in real-time and arrest the thieves.
One of the biggest distractions to any motorist is when their cell phone starts ringing. Or when notifications of new text messages or Facebook updates come through. As you can imagine, looking at your mobile phone and driving at the same time is unsafe and careless.
Sometimes the urge to resist looking at your phone is too high. Of course, you don't want to travel in your auto without your cell phone. So, what can you do? One example is to use an OBDII gadget that blocks cell phone signals!
One of the "smart" things about such gadgets is they only work when they detect the car is moving. It keeps signals unblocked in stationary vehicles.
For many people, our cars are our pride and show. A combination of blood, sweat and tears funded the financing for our vehicles, and whether it’s a fancy new BMW Coupe or a humble Ford Focus, it’s a good idea to keep up appearances. Read more
If there is an issue with your car, it doesn’t always mean that you need to take it in for a fix. For instance, you might find that the seatbelt light on your dashboard is constantly on. Annoying maybe, but it’s certainly not life-threatening or even remotely dangerous. In fact, it’s perfectly acceptable to just leave this as it is because more often than not, it’s a crossed wire. Unless the light is proving to be a nuisance while driving or it’s combining with a beeping stay away from the mechanics. Read more
Winter can be a tough season for car dealerships in colder climates as the bad weather dampens many customers’ enthusiasm for taking test drives, surprise storms cause people to cancel their appointments and avoid leaving the house, and people worry about damaging a new purchase in the elements. President’s Day sales offer some reprieve as great deals and the thought of spring approaching encourage many to get out to the lot, but between New Year’s Eve and President’s Day, it’s often a quiet time for dealerships. Read more