Everything is smart these days from our phones to our houses. Even our TV is smart now. Thanks to the Internet of Things, many devices can communicate with each other on the cloud. All the heavy lifting is done on the cloud meaning the computing power needed for many of these devices to function is done there. This has opened up a whole new world of convenience.
If you have an old car, then you can take advantage of this and make it a smart car. It won’t drive itself, but it will be much more than an ordinary car that can take your average commute up a few levels.
In this article, I will go over several of the ways that you can use upgrades to turn your car smart even if it is older.
Auto head unit receivers
You can have all of the conveniences of your smartphone at your fingertips with an Android auto head unit. It’s basically a receiver that uses Bluetooth to connect a few different devices all together in one easy to see place right on your dashboard.
On it you can use GPS to find your way around, open up your favorite music app that is synced with your other devices and even control your smartphone.
With the unit installed right at eye level on your dashboard you can use it without taking your eyes off of the road.
Everybody loves watching Youtube videos of the crazy things that Russian dashboard cams capture as they provide a few laughs. But, the reality is that these devices are very useful and can really bail you out of a sticky situation.
Since they are digital and upload directly to the cloud, you have an instant record of anything that happens while you are driving. Nobody would be able to scam you out of an insurance claim in the event of an accident. You may even be a witness of an accident and provide evidence to exonerate somebody falsely accused.
There are a number of things that your camera can witness that you will have a record of that you can then download from the cloud onto any device.
OBD-II port devices
The port located somewhere under the steering wheel is like a secret door to an immense new world that you probably never knew existed. It is the entrance into the onboard computer and is very under utilized. Until now.
There are a number of devices that you can plug right into the port and get insider access into your car’s inner workings.
One of which will record all of your driving and then give you a report when you want to see how you’re doing. It can show you if you are accelerating too quickly, braking too hard and idling for too long. You can see a map of where you have traveled and get an idea of if you could find a better route to get where you’re going more efficiently.
If you have a teen driver in the family, then having an extra set of eyes on their driving will give you a lot of comfort. For instance, one of the plugs you can use will track their driving just as the one I just mentioned can. In addition, it can send you alerts when they are in a certain area so you know they are disobeying if you have an off limits area.
Even security of your vehicle is made better by using a device for the OBD-II port. Think about those doorbell cameras that alert you when someone approaches your house. You can have the same thing for your car so it is in an area that you don’t feel good about and you can keep an eye out remotely.
Hook up the wifi
Have you ever used an Uber that had wifi in it and was able to use your phone without killing your data? You can do the same for your own car and bring it up a level.
Instead of using your phone hotspot you can hook up a wifi signal that you can use anytime and without using your phone’s data so your passengers can enjoy wifi.
There are specific mobile hotspot devices for your vehicle. You can charge them in a cigarette lighter and sign up with your mobile provider to get on a data plan. There are even modems that connect to your OBD-II port and give you a wider range of options than a typical mobile hotspot.