CES - Car tech 2.0: Way beyond GPS and booming stereos

A new generation of car technologies promises to add more fun and functionality to motoring.

The Web has been in 2.0 mode for a while now, and in-car tech is starting to follow suit.

One of the noticeable trends at this year's CES in Las Vegas was the emerging next generation of in-car technologies, from GPS unit/social networking mash-ups to heads-up night vision displays and collision avoidance systems, to the holy grail of in-car entertainment systems. The entire North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center was devoted to cars and in-car technology this year.

Here are a few of the most interesting products we saw:

Scosche Industries: BlueLife Do-it-Yourself Bluetooth Car Kit

Now you can take advantage of Bluetooth wireless - and hands free - operation of your cell phone without having to wear a headset. If you know how to plug into your cigarette lighter, you can have Bluetooth wireless in your car.

There is a very, very powerful reason for going hands-free when doing calls in your car: it is rapidly becoming illegal in many states to hold a cell phone and drive at the same time.

The BlueLife Bluetooth Car Kit (DIYBRH) includes a receiver and 3.5mm connector. The receiver has a built-in microphone that simply plugs into any vehicle's 12-volt charger. It then connects to a vehicle's auxiliary jack allowing music or hands-free cellular calls to play through a vehicle's speakers. It will work with any radio that has an auxiliary input jack, but if you don't have that, the company offers a direct connect add-on auxiliary accessory, the DCAXUV, that will allow anyone to use the new Bluetooth car kit.

As a call comes through to a Bluetooth enabled cell phone, a user can either manually answer the call using the push-to-talk button included on the microphone, or a call can be automatically answered. Once the call is answered, all music mutes, and users will hear the caller through their car speakers. When the call is complete, the call is disconnected, and the music will automatically turn back on.

The product is offered thru Scosche dealers or directly from the company.

Dash Express: A 'living' GPS unit

Billed as the first GPS system that can send and receive data over both Wi-Fi and GPRS connections, Dash Express looks like it could be the future model for in-car nav systems.

It has real-time traffic information, which is nothing new for GPS units, but what's special about Dash Express is that it culls traffic information together from other cars that have a Dash Express unit installed. This living on-road data swarm is used to calculate the best route on the fly, based on traffic flow rather than just accidents and road closures.

Here's where it gets even more interesting: using its dual Wi-Fi and GPRS connectivity capabilities, the Dash Express unit will always stay connected. The unit can pull in real-time data for gas prices by station, nearby dinner specials, and addresses sent to the unit by friends and family over a Web browser or Microsoft Outlook. That means you don't need to input destinations manually or pull over to write down an address told to you over the phone.

Borrowing a page from Yelp and other social networking sites, Dash Express also lets you sync lists of your favorite restaurants and locations from your computer or cell phone and send that information to the in-car unit. You can also pull in other peoples' favorite lists -- a trusted friend's picks of sushi places in the vicinity, for example -- and the addresses and driving directions will show up on the unit.

According to company representatives at the CES booth, Dash Express is slated to be available as early as February. The pricing structure will be tiered; there will be a base price for the hardware unit itself, but to get the full package of features, it will be US$9.99 per month for a two-year plan or US$12.99 per month for a straight month-to-month plan.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?