Like all things based upon technological innovation, consecutive product models always seem to boast something new and tantalizing – like a trail of breadcrumbs that slowly but incrementally convince buyers to take the next bite. For example, Apple does this astonishingly well with their new iPhones each year… but, come to think of it, automotive manufacturers have been doing this for decades.
Give the consumer something they think they need on top of what they already have. Not such a bad idea from a marketing perspective, eh?
Regardless of popular opinion, I’m a firm believer that you can have your cake and eat it too. However, in order to do so, you need to move your attention away from all the commercial noise that is present day advertising and unto researching the things you really want. Here are some popular technologies found on newer car models that you can add to your older vehicle today.
In general, the rapid succession of stereo technology has drastically influenced our car sound systems. Cassette tapes had their time and place but were quickly outdated by their CD counterparts. Following the brief CD era, many car stereos were upgraded to include CD players as well as auxiliary ports to integrate burgeoning mp3 technologies. Today, our smartphones help further this trend with their combined mp3 and wireless capacities. Communicating via Bluetooth, our phones can connect directly to our cars allowing us to access and play media through our car speakers. Aside from being a convenient and enjoyable technology, talking on the phone with a Bluetooth enabled car is a much “safer” alternative to holding your device in hand.
Minus installation costs, you can purchase a brand new Bluetooth stereo system for under $100.
Remote Starter & Car Alarm Combo
No matter who you are, owning a remote car starter will save you from routine inconvenience – especially if you live somewhere with insanely cold winters or unreasonably hot summers. Yeah, it may seem like a lazy addition that isn’t completely necessary to some, but to others, it is a coveted necessity for their daily mobile needs.
Installation costs can range from $200-500 and the starter equipment usually costs $100+.
Object Proximity Sensors
Now here’s a tech that seems like it is only available on the latest and greatest cars. If the concept of adding proximity sensors to your car gets you all excited then you’re in luck. “Add-on” models work exactly like their preinstalled counterparts. As object near the rear of your vehicle the sensors send signals to the car’s internal unit which displays a color meter (i.e. how close is the object?) and produces audible sounds (i.e. you are approaching an object / an object is approaching you). Pretty neat, huh? Depending on the sensor brand and capabilities costs vary significantly: $50-200+.
Apparently word on the street suggests that future laws will soon require every new vehicle to come with a rearview camera and display screen (obviously). A nice addition to work in sync with object proximity sensors, rearview cameras not only help drivers more readily navigate their cars while in reverse but also make backing up a much safer maneuver. Since the dawn of the vehicle, many horror stories illustrate that blindly backing up cars can result in disastrous consequences as small children and animals are obstructed from view. Rearview cameras change the game by showing you what is directly behind and nearly beneath your ride.
Although these examples do not parallel major mechanical upgrades at the manufacturer level, they can still increase the overall functionality, safety and value of your vehicle.