Once was the day, before infomercials made us feel inadequate over our lack of super-absorbent ShamWOW! Back then, in-car entertainment was limited to AM radio, in-car dining usually involved an external tray and a girl on roller skates, and while you couldn’t tell with pin-point accuracy where on the globe you happened to be positioned, you could at least determine your direction via a water-filled compass suction-cupped to the windscreen.
Today, we have Big Gulp-swallowing cup holders, hundreds of satellite radio stations from which to choose, DVD systems are commonplace, and GPS devices badger us to exit, in two miles. A lot of these marvels of the information age can be a distraction while driving, and laws are being enacted across the nation banning sexting while behind the wheel.
But that’s not to say that some of these gadgets aren’t beneficial to both commuter and hoon alike. Having the right kick-ass driving song for that mountain road is just a flick of the iPod away. G-meters and accelerometers in some cars can track your performance whether it’s around turn nine at Willow Springs, or attacking the apex of that on-ramp on your way to work.
So, unless you are you an automotive luddite, who sticks to his AM and compass, you’ve probably been exposed to some of these surprise and delight car contrivances. If so, which gadget is your favorite?