At CES 2013, car audio companies and automakers showed that they’re ready to deliver data in almost any form to drivers — from on-demand news and restaurant reviews to location-sharing and even info to create the perfect date — by bringing connectivity and apps into the dashboard.
Summer’s here, and it’s time to hit the road. Automotive entertainment used to be restricted to radio and whatever you brought onboard in the form of prerecorded music — from 8-tracks to discs and later iPods. But now that smartphones and tablets have made Internet connectivity possible in the car, a whole new world of content has opened up on the road.
We gathered five of the coolest connected- car gadgets and took them out for a shakedown cruise.
TIME BEHIND the wheel can be a therapeutic escape from modern life's 24/7 connectivity, but that's about to change. At the 2012 CES, automakers, car-electronics suppliers, and wireless carriers announced alliances and initiatives that will make the fully connected car a reality.
A home theater is nothing without a first-rate surround setup, and a 7.1-channel system can give you the most compelling sound experience that today's technology can offer. But having the right receiver and the right number of speakers doesn't mean you'll magically get the most out of your system.
Entertainment in the car has come a long way since the first "fitted" AM radios of 1930. And even back then, a few killjoys wanted to ban in-dash radios for fear of distracting the driver. Thankfully, logic and the love of music prevailed - and with each evolution in mobile entertainment over the past 50 years, drivers and passengers have benefited.
BLUE WONDER You couldn't swing a cellphone at CES in January without hitting a car stereo with Bluetooth capability. Being able to connect a mobile phone to a head unit wirelessly isn't just a convenience that commuters crave; in many states, hands-free phone operation behind the wheel is the law, not a choice.