5 ways to make your car mute smart
We’re in the modern age of smart cars with cool features like Wi-Fi, vehicle app integration, voice commands, and in-dash consoles with Android or Apple OS. But if you’re driving an old car, it probably doesn’t have any of those great features found in most new cars today.
However, it is possible to make your dumb car smart with the right gadgets. How can this be done?
1. Install remote tracker with OBD
Most cars these days can be tracked or monitored through an app. However, if your old car does not have this option, you can install a remote GPS tracker with OBD diagnostics that can be associated with an app. Ideally, you should be looking for a small GPS tracker that would be discreet in your car.
The best GPS trackers are also designed with a long battery life and strong signal. Of course, the dedicated GPS tracker must be compatible with your Android or iOS smartphone, so you can easily track your car’s real-time location through the app. On top of that, most apps paired with GPS trackers will compile a report of your driving habits, including acceleration, braking, and speed.
If you are looking for the best car tracker, we recommend Hum by Verizon as it can monitor your vehicle’s status through the OBD reader and send you an alert in case something needs your attention. For example, if you are involved in an accident, Hum by Verizon will automatically send an alert to your loved ones and request emergency assistance. The gadget also comes with Wi-Fi connectivity, a Bluetooth speaker, and a car charger, and it comes in handy for keep an eye on your new teen driver.
2. Update the stereo system
Most smart cars these days are designed with stereos that can support apps like Android Auto, Apple Car Play or MirrorLink, which allow your smartphone to be integrated into your car’s infotainment system. If your old car does not support smartphone-vehicle integration apps, you can upgrade your stereo system.
If you want to use Android Autoyou can consider specific stereo models from reputable brands that can back it up. Likewise, you can install aftermarket infotainment systems that are compatible with Apple car game. The same can be said about MirrorLink – you need to choose a MirrorLink main unit.
However, when choosing an aftermarket stereo you should consider only one unit that is compatible with Android Auto and Apple Car Play and if possible it should also support MirrorLink. A head unit with a touchscreen will also give you more flexibility compared to an infotainment system controlled by physical buttons.
3. Install a headrest monitor
If you drive a car with rear seats, you can install a headrest monitor to entertain your rear passengers. There are many headrest monitors available on Amazon that you can purchase and install in your car.
For the best headrest monitors, you should consider a 14-inch IPS display with 4K resolution and Android-TV. Additionally, the best headrest monitors come with HDMI ports in case you want to play video games in your car.
However, installing headrest monitors can be a lot of work as you have to connect the wires and put them away. Again, most headrest monitors come with mounting brackets and installation manuals.
Alternatively, you can purchase a headrest tablet holder mount to support your tablet in the back seat. A tablet is easier to install than a headrest monitor because it doesn’t require wiring, but it can be inconvenient if you need to charge it after a few hours.
Additionally, you can install a smartphone holder on your dashboardso you can easily access your phone.
4. Use the voice assistant
If you don’t want to be distracted while driving, you should use voice commands to keep your hands on the wheel.
If you have installed a stereo system that supports Android Auto, you can use google assistant for voice commands while driving. Another option is to activate the Google Assistant driving mode if you have mounted an Android smartphone on the dashboard. However, there are differences between Driving mode Google Assistant and Android Auto which you should be aware of before purchasing.
On the other hand, an Apple CarPlay-compatible stereo system can use Siri for voice commands. Alternatively, you can mount your iPhone on the dashboard and use Siri while driving.
To start, you can download and install the Amazon Alexa app on your car’s head unit with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, just like you can install it on your Android or iOS smartphone.
But if you want the best experience while driving, you need to use Echo Auto in your car. Auto echo is a small device that understands Alexa, and it comes with automatic mode, which can be used while you’re behind the wheel.
5. Install surveillance cameras
If you want to record everything while driving, just in case you have an accident, you should consider installing surveillance cameras on your car. You can install two types of surveillance cameras in your vehicle: a dash cam and a rear view camera. A dash cam records everything in front of you as you drive, and a rear view camera records the blind spot behind your car to help you back up.
If you can’t afford a new dashcam, you could mount your old smartphone on the dashboard to record videos. But to achieve this, you must install dash cam apps on your smartphone. As for the rear view camera, you need to purchase and install it using the correct tools.
It’s easy to make your stupid car smart
Upgrading your old car with the latest technology is not that complicated. At the bare minimum, you should install remote trackers, a stereo system, and surveillance cameras that can be integrated into smartphone apps. If you want to go further, you can install 4K resolution headrest monitors to play video games in your car.
But if you don’t want to blow your budget, you can mount your Android or Apple smartphone on the dash and use it while driving.