Drivers want ways to make the millions of cars on the road safer and connected to their smartphones. While new cars have the latest technology, innovative companies are creating aftermarket solutions to meet the needs of car owners. This year, we saw many devices that are trying to solve connectivity, navigation, Bluetooth and safety needs at various price points.
The voting for the Tech CARS Award for “Best New Connected Car Product to Help Connect to Smartphones & Other Features” showed the kinds of devices that are hot on the market, what consumers want and what consumers are willing to pay for such devices. Let’s see what the popular votes showed.
3rd Place Pearl Auto Rearvision
Pearl Auto Rearvision $499 – provides a wireless backup camera that uses smartphone as monitor along with a an ODB-II device. The camera is hidden in a license plate frame. The phone mounts on the air vent or dash. It allows the users to cearly see what’s behind your car through a wireless backup camera. It is theft-resistant and easy-to-install, with no drilling, no wires and no professional installation required. Pearl claims it is cheaper than most other after market systems.
Second Place Tie: Garmin & Navdy
Garmin nüviCam HD -$399 , Navigation Bluetooth, voice, HD Digital Traffic, Collision/Departure Alerts an isr educed to $319.00 on Amazon.com. It features a vuilt-in dash cam that ontinuously records the drive and automatically saves files on impact as well as GPS records where and when events occurred. It offers forward collision warning and alerts the driver when the car is too close to the car ahead. The Lane Departure Warning alerts the driver when drifting off the road or into oncoming traffic.The Garmin Real Vision display camera view when approaching select destinations. It comes with fifetime map updates with information about when businesses open and close and map updates.
Navdy (HARMAN) – $799 price reduced recently to $499. It features a HUD, Google Maps, hand gestures and GPS. It claims to be the world’s first device for your car that lets you look forward while staying Connected. Launched in October 2016, Navdy’suser interface projects a transparent image on the road ahead, incorporates Hand Gestures to accept calls with the wave of your hand, a specially engineered Dial, and advanced software that lets you control your phone hands-free. With maps, calls, messages, notifications, music, and car information projected directly in front of you, you’ll never again miss a turn or the information you need while driving.
- Look Forward Display: rich, full color, fully transparent display.
- Intuitive Interface: Navdy Hand Gestures are the most natural way to accept a call or message with the simple wave of your hand. The Navdy Dial is the most intuitive way to scroll, zoom and navigate menus fluidly. The Dial also serves as a convenient way to access Siri and Google Now.
- Never Miss a Turn: Navdy’s Projected Navigation system is powered by Google Maps– with maps and directions appearing right in front of you, . With its own high precision GPS chip and local storage of maps, drivers don’t have to worry about losing navigation if they are out of network coverage.
- Stay Connected: Navdy lets you make and receive calls, listen to messages, control music, receive calendar reminders and stay connected to the apps on your phone. Navdy also connects to your car with Navdy Dash to show your speed, RPM and automatically recommend nearby gas stations when your fuel level is low.
Winner First Place Winner for Tech CARS Award for Best New Connected Car Product to Help Connect to Smartphones & Other Features Hudway Glass and Free App
Hudway HUD Glass with App – $49 allows for using any head-up display app on any mobile device both in poor visibility and on a clear day. It works with any smartphone and HUD apps, produces 20% larger image, assists without distracting, while glass transparency allows for a clear road view.
Hudway HUD Glass works with the Hudway app that allows drivers to focus on the road, keep their hands on the wheel and mind on driving. Hudway provides useful information — current vehicle speed, distance to the next sharp curve, and where it is best to slow down.All dangerous turns are displayed in red and prior marks on the road help to visually measure the distance. Ufortunately, the Hudway glass has sold-out until March, 7 which is only a few days away.
“Hudway leads the way for connected car devices, making navigation easier while providing a simple affordable solution,” said Lynn Walford, executive editor of AUTO Connected Car News.
“We are very excited and humbled to win the Tech CARS Award in this category. Our goal is to enable drivers to use the essential functions of their smartphones in a safe way while driving. And to achieve this goal, we actually took phones off of drivers’ hands so they are no longer distracted. Instead, we placed the phones on the cradle of Hudway Glass and transformed them into a real head-up display for any car. All navigation information in now displayed in drivers’ line of sight so they can keep their eyes on the road at all times. This Award means a lot to us – it means drivers value and appreciate our head-up display solutions, which, in turn, motivates us to keep innovations going.”
This is the first year we included the price on the voting ballot for this Tech CARS Award. Although, the products all offered many great features, we believe that consumers want a price point of an affordable and safe solution. Until Insurance companies either provide these services or give a discount, unfortunately consumers tend to look a the price for aftermarket devices before they consider the advantages or safety.