There is no doubt about the fact that we are now living in the future. Yes, there are still no jetpacks or flying cars, but it is looking like we are just a few short years from the cars that drive themselves. Things have changed so quickly in these first 17 years of the 21st century, it is easy to forget about how it used to be. Let’s take a look back and give thanks for all the technologies that we now take for granted in our cars and driving.
- GPS - Smartphones, in general, deserve praise, but it is the GPS navigation ability built into all of them that we are going to focus on. Remember when a GPS satellite navigation system was an extra cost option available in only the most expensive luxury cars? Those early units needed maps on a CD-ROM, which were obsolete almost the minute they were shipped out. Now, for no extra cost, you can punch your destination into your phone and it will give you turn by turn directions, or even suggest gas or lunch spots along the way.
- OBDII - Once upon a time, during the transition period from early emission controlled carburetor equipped cars, to current electronic fuel injected computerized cars, there was fear among professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike. Now, pretty much everyone has embraced the world of the onboard diagnostic system with its check engine lights and error codes. The amount of real-time information available about your car now dwarfs what professional race teams had 20 years ago, and make diagnosing and fixing problems easier.
- Heated Seats - In winter weather, is there any feature more appreciated than heated seats? Amazingly enough Cadillac offered this first in the late 1960s, and Saab had it in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the 21st century that it was available on even economy cars. No longer do you have to get in a cold car and wait for minutes while the motor warms up. Hit the switch and in seconds your backside is getting warmed by the electric elements in the seat. You can even add this feature to your car for about $20 in the form of heated seat covers.