Eight car gadgets that make your car smart

Nothing works without the Internet these days. Just about everyone now has Internet access at home – and there are now also more and more freely accessible hotspots in public spaces and on buses and trains. First cars with integrated SIM card were delivered more than seven years ago. The data connection is usually used for infotainment services or controlling the vehicle via app.

If you’re driving an older car and still want to provide Internet access for all passengers on a trip with family or friends, you can do so easily and conveniently with devices such as the Huawei CarFi Hotspot (from 50 euros). The small LTE router is plugged into the cigarette lighter and then provides WiFi.

Alternatively, there are battery-powered solutions, but they quickly run out of power on long trips and are not suitable as a permanent solution.

PACE – the smart Swiss army knife for cars

A WiFi hotspot alone does not make a car “smart”. For that, you need a solution like that of the Karlsruhe-based company and CyberLab alumni PACE. This consists of the PACE Link, which you plug into the diagnostic interface of your vehicle, and the PACE App. The connection is made via Bluetooth.

With little effort, you can get innovative features in your car with PACE 10:

  • Find-My-Car function
  • Traffic Monitor
  • Cheapest gas station finder
  • Performance MOnitor
  • Fuel cost tracking
  • Automatic emergency call
  • Electronic logbook
  • Fuel-saving trainer
  • Mobile payment
  • Error code analysis

The price for Pace is currently 119 euros. The use is not tied to a subscription, so you do not incur any ongoing costs.

Handpresso – the espresso machine for the car

Anyone who travels a lot by car knows that there is simply no such thing as “good coffee” at freeway service stations. But there is now a solution to this problem, too – and it’s called Handpresso. The espresso machine for the car can be operated via the vehicle’s 12-volt socket and is designed to fit in the cup holder.

Within two minutes you can conjure up an excellent espresso. addition, the Handpresso builds up a pressure of 16 bar and shows the water temperature via a display. If you want to become a mobile barista, you have to invest around 160 euros for it.

Tile Mate – Never misplace your car key again

We’ve all been there: You’re in a hurry to get out of the house – and can’t find your car keys. This problem has been addressed by the company Tile.

The Tile Mate is a key fob with Bluetooth. Via the Tile app, you can see where your key was last -and you can make it ring. This way you can find the key even in the biggest chaos. Conversely, you can use the Tile Mate to make your smartphone ring if you have misplaced it. Even integration into Alexa or Siri is possible. Starting at 20 euros.

Mobileye – the driving assistant for retrofitting

With prices around 1.000 euros and more, Mobileye’s retrofit solutions are certainly no bargain. But in return you get real driving assistants that significantly minimize the risk of accidents.

Depending on the model variant, Mobileye’s accident prevention systems have the following functions:

  • Turn-off assistant with blind spot and collision warning: The vehicle’s surroundings are monitored using AI and cameras to detect risky situations with pedestrians or cyclists at an early stage.
  • Collision warning: Pedestrians, cyclists or other cars are detected early to prevent a possible collision.
  • Distance monitoring: Acoustic warning as soon as the distance to the car in front is less than a predefined distance.
  • Lane departure warning: Indicates when the vehicle is drifting out of its lane.
  • Traffic sign recognition

Rear-view camera – the parking and exit assistance system

Especially in big cities, parking spaces are “fought” for every centimeter – and in some situations it is hardly possible to park and unpark without risk without aids.

This can be remedied by rear view cameras. These assist the driver not only when reversing into parking spaces, but also when exiting blind driveways. Even in older vehicles, these can now be retrofitted without any problems, as corresponding radio systems are available for as little as around a hundred euros. In these models, the camera is simply mounted on the back of the vehicle. It transmits the signal wirelessly to a screen in the vehicle. This can be attached to the windshield like a navigation system. Some models also use the rear view mirror as a display.

TPMS – keeping an eye on tire pressure

Sensors make cars not only smarter, but also safer. One of the most important sensors in this context is certainly the one that keeps track of tire pressure. Tire pressure monitoring system (RDKS for short) is what this is then called. The TPMS is often standard in modern vehicles, but it can be retrofitted to older models for around a hundred euros. The system works in a very simple way: sensors are attached to each tire to monitor the pressure. The data is visualized on a small display inside the vehicle, which also sounds an alarm in the event of a pressure loss.

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