New gizmos help you get there faster, safer

Paul Eisenberg

The advent of electronic GPS units for vehicles in recent years has made driving to any destination easy. But what happened to “getting there” being half the fun? With a slew of new gadgets for vehicles recently released or due out soon, getting there may surpass that 50 percent fun ratio.

Oxygen Audio’s

O’Car deck


Smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone have revolutionized how we access technology from just about everywhere. Now motorists will be able to access the full functionality of their iPhones thanks to the new O’Car deck, which allows drivers to use snartphones to deliver music via the iTunes library, Internet radio or even old-fashioned AM and FM. Plus, access Bluetooth hands-free calling, GPS and all your apps. The deck has a built-in amplifier, as well.

Griffin CinemaSeat


You could spend thousands on built-in options for rear-seat video, or try attaching heavy DVD players to the seat to entertain youngsters on long drives, but a new $40 offering makes rear-seat entertainment portable and easy to use for those with an iPad or similar device. Simply a sleeve with a large Velcro strap, the CinemaSeat straps securely to a front seat headrest and doesn’t bounce around or move when driving. It also allows children to access the display, connectors and controls, and features a stretchy pocket to hold accessories. Load up your tablet with entertainment before a trip, and fumbling around with DVDs will be a thing of the past.

Pioneer’s next-gen navigation systems


Navigation has jumped to the next level, for those who can afford it. Pioneer Electronics this spring is releasing two in-dash touchscreen navigation systems, the AVIC Z130BT and AVIC X930BT, which will update traffic conditions, stream music from and turn feeds from Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets into audio broadcasts. The devices will also allow motorists to view videos from YouTube and other sources, but only when the vehicle is parked.

The Anti Sleep Pilot app, device


Motorists who fall asleep behind the wheel account for more than 100,000 deaths or injuries every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The new Anti Sleep Pilot aims to cut those numbers down via an app for the

iPhone or a non-phone version that looks like a small hockey puck-shaped button. After learning a motorist’s tendencies, the device monitors potential for fatigue and will help keep motorists alert by asking them to complete simple tasks, such as pushing a button. It will also signal when it’s time to pull over and take a break.