BY ANNE CHIE
New technology follows us wherever we go—quite literally—especially on the road. Even the least adventurous among us bring at least a few electronic devices with us, and it’s easy to see why all this tech has changed the way we live, much less travel.
But road trips are road trips, and all that we’ve come to love about them will probably never go away, and can only be enhanced—not replaced— by technology. As an article by Road and Track points out, gadgets can never replace the jokes, the landscapes, and faraway visits to friends and family. We certainly don’t have to choose one over the other.
With that in mind, here are three things to remember about getting on the road with the latest tech.
Make it safe
Countless families have been kept safe by anti-lock brakes and traction control for probably decades now, but even then, the dangers of traversing the tricky parts of the road remain. Factor in the effect of fatigue on driving ability, and what you get—at best—are passengers dizzy from brake pads turned smoky. Add rain or snow to the mix, and everyone’s going have to hold their breaths, probably.
This is something that a bit of automation in new vehicles have somehow been able to fix. In an article by Fleetmatics they mentioned how the industrial use of these technologies is allowing the rapid collection of data about traffic flow, protecting private citizens, fleet managers and drivers alike by automating the recording of duty status information.
Today, private cars have entered the picture. Cars now have effective cruise control, along with the ability to detect possible collisions in a matter of seconds, to warn you when you’re leaving your lane, or even to bring the vehicle to a complete stop. Significant progress in suspension design, engine output, efficiency and response have effectively made cars smooth in transit, and kept them from feeling like boats. Make sure to avoid turning them into a liability by always keeping these features in check.
Make it fun
Today’s technology has made even the most mundane of drives interesting through various visual and audio advancements. Thanks to services such as Pandora or Spotify, along with capabilities to hook devices up to the car’s audio system through Bluetooth connectivity audio has come a long way in recent years.
Make it convenient
All of this tech inside cars and everyone’s pocket brings with it the need for power. One of the new challenges we face during road trips is keeping all those cables organized. Nothing spells hassle more than leaving even one charger back home.
That’s where travel chargers come to the rescue with multiple power plugs such as the Belkin 3-outlet Charger reviewed in an article by iMore. These peripherals have turned into more of a necessity than a luxury now. Make sure that everyone has a grip on all of their device peripherals to save everyone else… from the likely mood swing. Those cables and adapters matter during vacations just as much as bug sprays and sunscreen.
On road trips, half of the fun happens outside the car. For this you need a purposeful “tech bag”. Backpacks are still the recommended pick, and are still fashionable. The convenience it provides for lugging stuff around is just exceptional, and also a no-brainer. Sure, you need to carry all that stuff around, but you also need to keep your hands and arms free to take those most memorable snaps.