Ridin’ nerdy: 15 drool-worthy car gadgets for your daily drive

car gadgets

In the years of yore, a casual Sunday cruise may have been enough to adequately assuage the average driver. However, in our digital age, there are hundreds of gadgets to enhance our daily driving experience and help us streamline our day-to-day tasks. While there are plenty of practical devices designed to assist us during an emergency, there are also several rather unnecessary — albeit, enjoyable — gizmos to choose from. From a self-powered jump starter to a coffeemaker for your car, here are 15 of our favorite car gadgets for your daily driving pleasure.

Bestek Jump Starter ($50)

Jumper cables are great if you have another vehicle to give you a friendly jolt. However, if you’re in a more isolated area, jumper cables are essentially useless. The self-powered Bestek Jump Starter is ideal for this exact scenario, and it features two USB ports for your mobile devices as well as a flashlight.

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Amazon

Ztylus Stinger ($16)

The Stinger is a handy device to have at your disposal after an accident. If your car windows or doors are jammed, the Stinger is designed to shatter the dashboard or car window, thus allowing you to quickly exit your vehicle. The device also incorporates a slim blade on the backside, which allows you to slice through a jammed seat belt.

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Amazon

Fobo Tire Plus ($229)

Properly inflated tires wear more evenly, thus increasing the lifespan of your rubber as well as fuel efficiency. Rather than using a handheld pressure gauge to ensure your tires are properly inflated, the Fobo Tire Plus system uses a series of Bluetooth gauges that relay this information directly to your smartphone. Fobo can monitor up to 19 cars, too, which should be adequate for most mortals — other than Birdman, that is.

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Fobo Amazon

Scosche USB Charger ($15)

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As you begin to accumulate car gadgets, you’ll also need more space to charge many of these devices. Thankfully, Scosche’s charger allows you to charge two devices at once. The unit also emits a subtle, blue glow much to your chagrin, enjoyment, or apathy. While there are USB hubs with more ports, this unit is one of the best given its low profile and budget-friendly price tag. There are plenty of excellent chargers if you’re willing to spend a little bit more, too.

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Amazon

Tile Mate ($20)

Our forgetfulness costs us thousands of dollars over the course of our lifetimes. Unsurprisingly, one of the most commonly misplaced items are our car keys. Thankfully, the Bluetooth-equipped Tile Mate easily slides onto a keychain, allowing you to track the whereabouts of your keys using an accompanying mobile app — even if they’re locked inside your car. Tile is one of the best Bluetooth trackers on the market, and it’s compatible with several infotainment systems, including the one found in late-model Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

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Amazon

Garmin Dash Cam 55 ($200)

A dash cam is an exceptional tool for determining fault after a car accident, and the Garmin Dash Cam 55 is our top pick. The device captures images in crystal-clear 1440p video and 30 frames per second. It keeps you safe, and you can use it to make cool time-lapse videos if you drive in through a scenic area.

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Amazon

Escort Max 360 ($509)

Like Sammy Hagar — renowned musician, philanthropist, and notorious restaurateur — many of us simply cannot drive 55. Unfortunately, this unlawful (albeit ubiquitous behavior) will eventual lead to hefty fines. Thankfully, there are an array of radar detectors on the market to notify us when The Fuzz is using radar in the vicinity, including the lauded Escort Max 360. The device is one of the most accurate on the market, loaded with dual antennas and robust smartphone compatibility that allows you to network with other nearby speedsters.

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Amazon

Park-Zone PZ-1600 ($22)

It can be difficult to know just how far to pull up when parking in smaller garages. Luckily, parking assistants are an easy way to help maximize space and prevent us from continually tapping our front bumpers. The simple traffic signal display on the PZ-1600 lets you know when you’ve pulled up far enough, without any ill-fated guesswork.

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Amazon

Handpresso ($168)

Most of us simply shudder at the thought of starting our workday without a cup of coffee. It’s easy to forget to set the coffeemaker, or, if we’re running behind, we may simply lack the time to swing by our preferential coffee shop on the way to work. Designed for the flibbertigibbet — or those with a soft spot for unnecessary gadgets — the Handpresso is a coffeemaker tailor-made for your car. The unit works with your own preferred grounds or ESE espresso pods, and plugs directly into the cigarette lighter or 12-volt port in your car.

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Amazon

Automatic Car Adapter ($110)

The second-gen Automatic Car Adapter plugs into the diagnostic (OBD-II) port on most cars. This allows the device to pull data directly from your vehicle’s onboard computer. The paired mobile app also has many convenient features, including a vehicle locator, mileage log, and the ability to notify emergency services after an accident. The car adapter also works with a host of third-party apps, such as IFTTT, Nest, and Expensify.

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Amazon

Ion Audio Cassette Bluetooth Adapter ($20)

A Bluetooth cassette adapter is a great way to stream all of your favorite playlists directly from your smartphone (without any unsightly cord clutter). Ion Audio’s offering is one of our favorites, too. It offers roughly four hours of playback on a single charge, which is more than enough juice to play all of your favorite — or embarrassing — tunes, much to the dismay of your friends. It even allows for hands-free calling via a built-in microphone.

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Amazon

High Road Car Seat Organizer ($20)

Now that you’ve amassed an arsenal of useful gadgets, you’ll need a place to stow them. The High Road Car Seat Organizer is a solid storage option for families and hoarders alike. The unit is made of durable mesh and polyester, and comes with an array of compartments and flexible pockets. The adjustable headrest strap also easily fastens to virtually any seat back, allowing you to keep all of your belongings within arm’s reach.

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Amazon

Pearl RearVision backup camera ($400)

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Pearl’s RearVision backup camera ensures you’ll never again bring your car home with a dent — at least not one you’re directly responsible for. Easy and quick to install, it consists of a small camera integrated into a frame you need to mount over your rear license plate. It relies on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to transfer live footage straight to your smartphone, meaning there’s no need to splice anything into your car’s electrical system. Note the RearVision doesn’t work with cars built before 1996.

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Amazon

Garmin Head-Up Display ($150)

garmin hud displays driving directions on your windshield display in use macro

Garmin’s head-up display is a simple, compact device that projects important information about a car and its surroundings right into the driver’s line of sight. It provides turn-by-turn navigation directions, the speed limit, and it even gives you the location of speed cameras, among other useful functions. Try it on your next road trip and you’ll never drive without it again.

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Garmin

Ventev Wireless Pro dock ($52)

Ventev Wirelesspro Dock review
Nolan Browning/Digital Trends

Automakers are beginning to include wireless smartphone chargers, either standard or optional, in their newest models. You don’t have to upgrade to a new set of wheels to get one, though. Ventev’s Wireless Pro replaces the traditional (and often painfully slow) USB charger with a device that delivers fast, wireless charging while doubling as a cradle. It’s three times faster than a standard wireless charger, and the lifetime warranty sweetens the deal, but we noted heavier phones make the mount move.

Buy one now from:

Amazon