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Making Almost Any Car Smarter

Published on 04 May 16

Modern automobiles are starting to become equipped with a multitude of sensors that gather vital information so essential, that without it the vehicle wouldn’t run. The sensors continuously monitor hundreds of signs and signals such as ignition, valve timing, emissions; throttle and brake positions, air intake, air temperature and pressure, the grip of your wheels on the road, tire pressure, and even your speed and acceleration. Engineers at companies like NXP and their Automotive Logic division are developing or testing new technologies to aid in performing these new tasks every day. Recently, NXP merged with Freescale and are now on the forefront of automotive technology, developing the electronic components for new and helpful devices.

Since the merger, NXP has said that it will lead in making chips for a few different tasks required of intelligent cars: Sensing their surroundings and communicating with other vehicles, making decisions based on what those sensors learn, and carrying out various decisions. This means the technology they are creating will be about to tell if the car in front of you is using their traffic signals, be able to tell when a car is switching lanes, automatically brake to prevent collisions, and be able to tell if there is another vehicle in your blind-spot.

Focusing on more than safety technology, this technology will also be used for in-car entertainment, keyless entry, and connecting the vehicle to the IoT (Internet of Things).

But what if you have an older car? Here is some tech that can bring your ride to the smart car world.
The Automatic Adapter
Making Almost Any Car Smarter - Image 1

There is a device out there, developed by Automatic, that will allow you to make your vehicle smarter, but just as long as it was made after 1996.

It hooks up to your vehicle via the OBD-11 port and utilizes the data in your cars on-board computer. It comes equipped with bluetooth connectivity to allow you to access the data from your phone using their mobile app which is available for the iphone, android and even through your browser.

Automatic’s app relays information regarding the working condition of your vehicle, but it can also help you find your parked car. Never fear, as it helps with emergency crash response too. This devices is even useful for getting you to your destination. It will help you plan a route and giving you information on the distance, the time it will take to complete your trip, and your MPG (Miles Per Gallon).

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For some, installing a new piece of technology into a car could be difficult, so Bluejay took a different route, utilizing new technologies within a smart phone mount. It uses a three-axis system that allows you to mount your phone in the comfiest position within your car. Compatibility is not an issue either, as any phone can use Bluejay, using either a magnet or nano-pad to hold it in place on the pad itself.

A hybrid of Bluetooth and GPS within the device can help you locate your car even when you don’t have cell reception, and on the opposite side of the spectrum, it can help find your phone as well. Never forget to refill the meter, as automatic notifications about when you parked your car are available, keeping your parking tickets down to a minimum.

Using a smart point-of-interest (POI) system, Bluejay can find the nearest gas station, shopping mall, restaurant or whatever else you are looking for. You can use it’s turn by turn navigation system to get to addresses saved in your calendar, memo app or browser.

Making Almost Any Car Smarter - Image 3

Navdy is a portable, head-up display unit, that you can put on your dashboard. It works in just about any vehicle meaning that you don’t have to buy a brand new car to enjoy a holographic luxury of the future.

Navdy works just like Automatic’s tech, plugging it into the onboard diagnostics (OBD II) port. Using a transparent screen and a tiny high-definition projector, information is displayed in the driver’s field of view. It connects to your phone as well and works with a plethora of smartphone apps. It also has its own built in applications that can be controlled with a mere wave of a hand, voice recognition is also utilized.

It’s cheaper than checking the head-up display option box when buying a new car, and since the Navdy is a portable device, you can take it along when you decide to switch vehicles.

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