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Best Car Gadgets of 2014

Even the most cynical driver in the country would have difficulty playing down the role that technology has had in making driving more enjoyable, and significantly safer. From parking sensors to Bluetooth it seems that there is a technology for every aspect of driving – whether it’s for the practical side or for the enjoyment side.

With new technologies and in-car apps coming to the market everyday, it’s almost impossible to stay on top of them all. Below though are a few things which have come to market this year which will, we think, enhance your driving experience – in one way or the other. If you’ve got an app or a gadget that you’ve recently bought that you couldn’t live without, let us know in the comments.

Audi Quattro laserlight concept

Launched at the Consumer Electronics Show, the Audi Quattro laserlight concept uses a combination of LEDs for low beams, and lasers for high beams, which work together to provide twice the range of visibility, and three times the brightness. Certainly one to look our for on cars of the not too distant future.

Ford C-Max Energi Solar concept

The Ford C-Max Energi Solar was another concept that debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show. This concept uses rooftop solar panels to recharge the hybrid car’s batteries, meaning there’s no need for chargers so often. The panels even manage to track the sun, and can recharge the batteries fully with four hours of sunlight. Another concept that seems destined – at least in this writer’s untrained eye – to catch on in cars of the coming years.

AA Roadwatch Pro 

If it seems cheap, that’s because it’s an app. For those who haven’t got a sat nav (see below), AA Roadwatch Pro can give you a good steer on areas to drive if you want to avoid hitting traffic – which we all do. AA Roadwatch Pro is the best traffic app out there, using TomTom data and can show traffic jams on a map, or on your intended route if you enter details of where you’re heading to, and from.

TomTom Go Live 1005 

While a lot more expensive than AA Roadwatch Pro and the like, the TomTom Go Live 1005 is TomTom’s star performer – giving live traffic updates not just for the UK, but for Europe too. What’s more, the sat nav allows users to go online, with specific features allowing drivers to locate nearby restaurants, shops and hotels. The high price, though, is due to the availability of maps from all around the globe.

Karcher Chassis Cleaner 

Many drivers think the thing to watch out for in winter is the damage that road salt can have on your paintwork. While that’s important, the salt can also do damage to your car’s underside, and that’s why the Karcher Chassis Cleaner is such a useful tool. When attached to a Karcher pressure washer (an extra cost, of course) a high pressure rinse will clean the underside of your car using the supplied shampoo, and you’re also able to add a layer of protective treatment that lasts for six weeks. A worthwhile investment, we reckon.

Halfords 12v car vacuum

Yes yes, it’s not the most exciting product on the list, but the Halfords vacuum runs from your car’s lighter socket, so there’s no need for an extension cord, and includes three attachments for the areas that are tricky to get to.

Magellan Roadmate 6230T-LM DashCam

There’s been a surge in the range of rear-view cameras available, but the Magellan Roadmate gives drivers an extra pair of eyes at the front – giving an impartial recording of any incidents that may occur, automatically recording a few seconds of activity after sudden braking or erratic steering. The Magellan model and others are so useful that those who drive for a living – such as taxi drivers – are having them installed mandatorily. 


published: 06/06/2014 11:41:23

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