Where Is That Little Voice Coming From? Gizmos and Gadgets 2

Telematic Systems

I must admit that I was not certain what “Telematic” meant at first, turns out it describes one of my favorite vehicle gadgets:

Vehicle telematics systems provide live assistance in case of a crash or other emergency. This is way more than just voice response. There is a real person on the other end of this technology. The live operator can even remotely unlock doors when keys are carelessly left inside at the mall. In addition to connecting you with real human help, these dynamic systems also provide navigation, hands free calling, diagnostics and maintenance reminders too. Your car can email you to remind you it is time for an oil change or if your tire pressure is off.

Making them even better, they now work with smart phone applications and allow owners to remotely start their engines and lock doors. Their navigation systems are frequently easier to program with a live operator downloading your directions directly to your vehicle. Once only available from On Star and exclusively in General Motors vehicles there are now several options for interactive support. Many manufacturers offer their own system and you can also purchase the original On Star control mirror and install it in anything from your 66 Mustang to a new Volkswagen.  It is still easier to purchase a system designed to work with your vehicle, but the most important decision lies in the services provided.

Heated Seats

Now who can argue with heated seats? Even in Texas it is can be a great feature. Granted we have many months out of our year that it is not necessary. I can assure you I have been really jealous that my much better half’s Smart Car had a heated driver’s seat and mine does not.  There have been some scattered reports of fires, so if you get a recall notice don’t ignore it. While you can buy aftermarket kits to add this to your vehicle for less than $100 I would use great caution. Improper installation or substandard components could at the very least lead to a burned back side. As with all gadgets, heated seats are one more thing to break and if you think you will only use them twice a year they may not be worth the investment in your new or used car.

Ambient Lighting and other Just For Fun Gizmos are coming in a future post. We will even have a groovy piece of artwork utilizing the ambient lights in a Nissan cube. Gizmos and gadgets abound in our vehicles today  and you can read more about many already posted on this site in the Groovy Gadgets category.

What is your favorite new vehicle technology? Please share your comments or email questions to lynn@thatcarlady.com.

wishing you miles of happy driving,

Lynn Beckwith

That Car Lady






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