11 of the best car gadgets for 2022 | BBC Science Focus Magazine

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If you’re a casual driver, a consistent commuter, or an all-out car enthusiast, there is a range of gadgets available that can optimise your time on the road.

Whether you want to keep passengers entertained on a long trip, clear your car of clutter, or keep track of its location when it’s not in use, we’ve got you covered with a round up some of the best car gadgets that will help you get the most out of your vehicle.

The best car gadgets in 2022

Amazon Echo Auto

Echo Auto on white background

If Alexa has become a fixed feature in your home, you may be pleased to know you can now take the virtual assistant on the road. Simply connect Echo Auto to the Alexa app on your phone as well as your car speakers (via auxiliary input jack or Bluetooth) and you’ll be able to make your usual commands on the go.

Whether you want to request a song, stream an audiobook, set reminders or check petrol prices, you can do so thanks to the eight microphones and far-field technology which are designed to hear you over music, air conditioning and general road noise.

To protect your privacy, you can press the microphone off button at any time which will electronically disconnect the voice activation. Just make sure your car is compatible, as not all are – you can find a full list here.

Disklabs Key Shield Faraday bag

Disklabs Key Shield (KS1) Faraday Bag on white background

Protect your car key from modern thieves with this Disklabs Key Shield Faraday bag which should stop your key’s signal from being picked up and copied, and ultimately used to seamlessly swipe your vehicle.

Simply place your keys inside the small Faraday bag when you’re not using them, and it should block all wireless signals including WiFi, Bluetooth, Radio and GPS.

Ticarve car cleaning putty

TICARVE cleaning gel for car

With their claims that it can clean 97 per cent of dirt and crumbs from awkward crevices, the car cleaning putty is designed to get into tricky spots where dust can gather in your car. Simply knead the cleaning gel into a ball and press it slowly into the car vents and other difficult to reach gaps, and when you pull it out the dirt should come with it.

Made from high-tech cleaning gel material, it’s skin friendly, non-sticky, and has a lavender fragrance. It’s reusable up to the point where the gel starts to darken in colour.

Shark handvac 2.0 handheld vacuum

© Shark

Crumbs, dirt, sand and all of the tiny grains that find their way into your car can be a real pain, but instead of awkwardly sweeping them out with your hand, or dangling wires out of the window for hoover extension cords, a handheld vacuum can be a great alternative.

This handheld vacuum from Shark can be charged up and kept in your car, ready for any accidents, or just to keep your car constantly clean.

It has a 15-minute run time, and offers a powerful suction between two different modes. Plus, it is small and lightweight so it won’t take up too much space.

Garmin dash cam compact

© Garmin

Dash cams are a great way to monitor what happens on the road around you and to have some support if anything happens to your car.

This Garmin dash cam is especially helpful if you’re in the market for something small and discreet. It shoots in 1440p HD video, using an 140° lens. You can record at day and night and get a solid video back. Plus, with the 2-inch LCD display on the back, you can watch your footage back there and then.

The camera records automatically at all times, and with a voice control feature, you can tell the camera to save video, start or stop recording and take pictures.

There is also a feature to keep the camera recording when its parked up, monitoring any suspicious activity.

Norshire tyre inflator

NORSHIRE tyre inflator on white background

Claiming to be the smallest and lightest tyre inflator in the world, this handheld gadget is 8.2 inches in length, 1.6 inches in diameter, and delivers 175 PSI to pump up flat tyres. Made from metal in order to be much more durable than similar plastic products, it’s designed to correctly gauge the correct pressure needed to extend the recommended life of the tyre.

If the battery dies, you can supply direct power to the inflator through a 12V cigarette lighter, which means it’s perfect in a pinch if you have a socket in your car.

Halfords padded seat cushion

Halfords padded seat cushion

For long journeys or simply for those who spend plenty of time in the driver’s seat, the Halfords padded seat cushion has a contoured design with a high-density filling to make the journey more comfortable. The cushion is made to fit your car seat with an anti-slip backing and adjustable straps to ensure it (and you) are fully secured.

Yosh phone holder

© Yosh

If you prefer to ditch the sat-nav or built-in screen in your car, getting a phone holder can be a great way to utilise your smartphone’s map application while driving.

By doing this, you can clearly see your smartphone’s screen while driving, saving you from having to balance it awkwardly somewhere in your eye line.

This option from Yosh is an affordable choice, simply requiring a magnet to be stuck to the back of your device. This then allows you to magnetically connect your device to the Yosh holder which fits into your car vent.

Tile Mate bluetooth finder

© Tile

Less of a gadget for your car, more of one for those who are always losing their car keys. The Tile Mate can be attached to your keys to help you track them down when you’ve lost them.

You can use the Tile app to ring the device when you’re within Bluetooth range, or if you’re too far away, use the app to check the Tile’s most recent location on a map.

As an additional feature, you can use your Tile in reverse to find your smartphone if you’ve lost it.

Car headrest tablet mount

Tablet Car Mount on white background

Keep your passengers entertained on long car journeys with this versatile car headrest which is compatible with a broad range of devices, from iPads to Samsung tablets. The hook and loop strap connects securely to the headrest without obscuring the buttons or tablet screen to ensure there’s no disruption to the viewing experience. Easy to remove and reattach when exiting or re-entering a vehicle, it has a silicon holding net which will help avoid scratches and any damage to tablets and iPads.

Oasser car boot organiser

Oasser Car Boot Organiser on white background

It can be easy to let the clutter accumulate in your car, which is why Oasser has developed a boot organiser to keep you on top of your belongings. Made from waterproof Oxford cloth with built-in plates made from density board and pearl cotton, your items will be safely stored and well protected.

Collapsible and easy to install, it has three compartments with two moveable plates which can create one large space. There’s also the additional feature of a heavy duty cover, to keep your belongings out of sight for added protection and privacy.

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