Road trips justifiably are heralded as one of America’s finest traditions. They allow you to explore and enjoy hidden corners of the country from the vantage point of the open road.
That’s all quite wonderful, but the truth is, road trips quickly can become tedious without the right technology to help smooth the path. Certain amenities can be of tremendous assistance in helping you get the most out of your adventure.
We’ve listed four essential technology features for road trips. If you’re shopping for a vehicle and expect to take a trip or two, it’s wise to choose a vehicle equipped with some or all of these features.
1. Adaptive Cruise Control
During a road trip, highway driving can present you with glorious vistas. But all that driving can be tiresome and exhausting.
Adaptive cruise control can provide the support you need. This feature uses radar technology to precisely locate other vehicles on the road. It assumes braking and acceleration duties, allowing you to maintain a set distance behind the vehicle in front of you without the need to apply pressure to the throttle or brake pedal.
You’ll find adaptive cruise control in vehicles at all price points, from budget-friendly economy cars to top-dollar premium sedans.
2. Drowsy Driver Alert
Road trips often mean spending long hours behind the wheel. It’s a situation that can cause drivers to push themselves beyond their limits. The desire to stay on schedule can sometimes encourage drivers to keep going at times when it would be safer to pull over and get some rest.
If you’re driving while exhausted, it can be easy to ignore the signs. A drowsy driver alert lets you know loud and clear if you’re driving while fatigued. These systems typically use steering sensors that record your movements, and they establish a baseline for your driving habits. If you’re driving when you should be napping, your steering movements will be very different from your baseline norms. The system will detect this, and it will let you know it’s time to pull over and take a break.
A road trip often comes with unexpected detours. Sometimes when passing through a town, you’ll be struck by the desire to venture off the main road and spend an hour or two enjoying the sights. In situations like this, it helps to have a solid navigation system.
Navigation systems typically use information from satellites and various onboard sensors to precisely track a car’s location. A good navigation system will help make sure you never find yourself stranded in unfamiliar territory.
You have the choice of purchasing a vehicle with an integrated navigation system or using a navigation app on your smartphone. An app is the cheaper option. However, keep in mind that an app may devour data from your phone’s monthly plan and fail if you take an incoming call.
4. Satellite Radio
You’ll need entertainment to keep you amused while on a road trip, and your car’s radio can provide solid companionship. However, radio stations won’t be of much use, because signals will strengthen and fade as you travel from one location to the next.
Satellite radio can be a useful ally on your journey. With satellite radio, signals are sent from geostationary satellites. The signal remains consistent throughout the country, allowing unbroken programming as you travel from place to place.
The range of entertainment on satellite radio is immense. You can listen to stations that specialize in specific genres of music, such as alternative, hip-hop, jazz and classical. You can find stations that exclusively play music from a single decade, such as the ’60s, ’70s or ’80s. There’s also a wide range of sports, news and comedy programming to enjoy.
Get Ready for the Road
The right equipment can help you avoid difficulties while exploring the country on your road trip.
Whether it’s an active safety feature such as adaptive cruise control or entertainment technology such as satellite radio, the amenities will give you the tools to have a fun and memorable experience.