Okay, I'm going to rank these top five car tech upgrades largely based on the kind of volume of requests we've received from you by email over the last couple of years, as well as what I know about how well these technologies work and don't.
Just because you can do something doesn't mean you'll be satisfied with something after you do it.
Let's get started.
Number five is a HUD, or a Head Up Display.
It's Head Up, by the way, not heads up.
Just for you grammar geeks.
This is still rare even in new cars, and such a cool idea.
I know that it's gonna be ubiquitous one day.
For now though, there are a number of Manufacturers, most of them startups, actually.
Who make some interesting units that kinda mount on top of your dash.
What they can project is speed, traffic conditions, navigation instructions, hands-free messaging assist.
Just a whole basket of really useful prompts and information.
I keep this down at number five because I think this category could use a little more maturation in terms of the quality of the devices.
As well as how will they integrate the car.
Okay, number 4, I get a lot of requests about this one, is remote start.
Now in the old days, you could add a kit that would give you a key box to remote start.
Nowadays it's all about doing it from a phone app or a smart watch app.
I put this at number four though because it is very dependant on where you live if you're in a climate, especially cold climate folks write in and ask about this.
And how sensitive you are to cold climates.
Now, know that today's systems can work over the Cloud so your car doesn't need to be near your key fab or your phone in this case.
It goes over the Cloud to be remote started from just about anywhere.
And that means they can also roll in some nice sort of OnStar features to locate the car, operate the lights, check the locks, etc.
Number 3 is blind spot warning technology.
Now this is actually very new in the apster market.
Hasn't been around that long.
And the latest wrinkle is that you can add a kit in your bumper that will actually use the same kind of radar technology Technology that the factory systems use can be pricy, pushing $700 or so, but you end up with a very OEM style indication of who's back there in your blind spot.
I rank this relatively high also because JD Power finds that among all the different Car tech assists we have these days.
This one's kind of a home run with 69% of people who have it saying they appreciate and use it every day.
Number two is one that I'm big on.
We've shown you a couple of tips on how to do this one as well.
And that is a video rearview mirror.
A rearview mirror that's got a video screen in it and also video input.
So we can bring in the image from a rear camera Cam that you might add.
As well as the mirror having a forward viewing cam integrated in it, a so-called dash cam.
Now on top of all that, almost all of these have a little solid-state TiVo, a DVR built in.
To record what's happening as you drive, in front of your car.
And these are also typically very inexpensive, maybe 200 bucks and one afternoon to put them in, if you know what you're doing at all.
On the downside is, it's mostly third-party or off-brand So shop carefully.
But everyone loves cameras in their car.
Before I get to number one, I made this spot here for a special honorary mention.
And that is this enormous class of water called OBD-II devices or tool.
It's a dongle you put up underneath your dash, and the OBD E2 port that can do almost anything.
I can do a top five of these alone.
You've got Verizon's Hum.
You've got auto insurance companies offering these.
You've got Automatic.
You've got many others that can give you either prompts on how to drive better Tell you the vehicle health of your car when it needs service, help you diagnose and clear those trouble codes that are behind the check engine light, or be great for recording your performance at the track.
I put these in a special mention because they do so many different things.
They can kind of take over the whole list, and because they can very quickly become automotive TMI, if you don't want to dig this deep.
Number one is literally your number one this is the most requested email topic I get.
And that is how can I change the screen in my dash to just be like my smartphone?
And nowadays you can do it.
The number one upgrade is to put in a new android auto or car play head unit.
Pioneer, Alpine, Sony these are some of the guys that make them.
For about $700-$1000 you can get a really nice unit that gives you all the functions of your smart phone, like your smart phone.
Because the software was designed by the folks that engineered your smartphone.
This is where automotive electronics can go, and should go.
The only down side here is these are double DIN standard size units.
They can be a lot of work to fit into some of the customized dashboards of many cars today.
But if you can find a dash kit that allows you to do that, this is your number one upgrade to make you feel like you're driving a 2017.
For top five list to wait the car love.
Go to CNETOnCars.com, click on top five.