Travel

Published on March 12th, 2018 | by Guest Contributor

Five Road Trip Tech Essentials.

With nicer weather on the horizon, we think it’s fair to start getting excited about planning some upcoming road trips.

So you’ve mapped out your route on Google Maps or Waze.  You’ve got your charging cords and first aid kit, spare tire, flashlight…but hold on there…you know this is 2018, right? And these days there’s basically an endless array of gadgets to make a road trip easier and safer – and to keep the gadget lover in the family happy.

So whether you’re driving with family, a partner, a large group across Canada from city to city or into off-grid terrain, these are some of the latest tech. essentials to take your upcoming road trips to the next level.

Navdy.

Navdy is the world’s first Augmented Driving device, which uses augmented reality (AR) technology to project information onto a transparent image directly in the driver’s line of sight. Navdy projects the map right onto the road ahead of you, so you never have to take your eyes off your driving. It also projects calls, messages, notifications, music, and car information, and incorporates advanced software that lets you control your phone hands free, such as the ability to accept calls with a wave of your hand. Granted, at a price tag of nearly $1,000 the Navdy may be more of a “nice to have” than an “essential,” but the idea is that you’ll never have to poke at a touch screen again while driving, making the road safer for everyone.

A Good Dash Cam.

Dash cams allow you to document both your scenic drive and any accidents or incidents you might encounter along the way. One good option is the Garmin Dash Cam 65W. Garmin is considered by many to be the maker of the best dash cams, and the latest model offers a high-quality 1080p video recording capability, and a 180-wide-angle field of view, allowing you to capture a wide scope of detail from the vehicle’s surroundings such as congestion, construction, and more. The 65W also boasts established features found across the Garmin Dash Cam series, including voice control, and advanced driver awareness features, including a “Go” alert, to notify drivers when traffic ahead begins to move. Note: Though there are no Canadian laws preventing the use of dash cams, some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit their use. Do your research before your trip to avoid trouble.

goTenna Mesh.

goTenna Mesh is an off-grid communication tool that keeps you connected to your fellow travellers even when there’s no cellular service – so, if you’re travelling with more than one car, for example, into remote areas. Or into areas where you plan to split up and go exploring. goTenna Mesh is the first internationally available, 100% off-grid, mobile, long-range consumer-ready mesh network device. goTenna pairs with your iOS or Android device and works by creating a peer-to-per network of users who can then text and share GPS locations up to several miles away. Without the need for typical network infrastructure, goTenna Mesh generates its own independent long-range radio waves, allowing you to keep in touch in emergency situations and more.

 

A Good Headlamp.

Because what if you need to change a tire at night? Or something worse, like breaking down and having to walk while carrying bags and/or children? A headlamp beats holding a flashlight. One option is the Black Diamond Spot, which is affordable, waterproof, and features 300 lumens of adjustable light. The Spot offers a powerful beam for long range visibility, and peripheral lighting for close-range activities like cooking, reading, sorting gear, or changing tires. The Spot features seven different lighting modes, including red night vision. The website also says the Spot features a “strobe” setting, which we imagine might come in handy for impromptu dance parties. (Or maybe not. We’re not sure).

CAA Mobile App.

Did you know CAA has an app? We do!

Stuck on the side of the road? Flat tire? Dead battery? Use the CAA App to submit your roadside assistance request. The app features a Service Tracker, so you can keep an eye on the progress of your call, and you’ll receive real-time notifications for when a tow truck has been assigned, dispatched and is en route to your location. The app also allows you to search all nearby gas stations to find the best price, and see which ones will give you CAA Rewards®, as well as allowing you to view all nearby CAA Rewards partners. Search for lodging, entertainment, health, automotive, dining and travel partners, so that you never have to spend more than you should.

Looks like you’re good to go.  But we’ll end this list with an important reminder.

Be sure to pre-set and program all your tech devices BEFORE you start driving.  The last thing we want is for you to be distracted by trying to manage technology while focusing on the road. 

We hope you enjoy planning your upcoming road trips with any one of these tech gadgets.

Want more info on road trips? We’ve got you covered.

Now. the open road awaits!

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