There used to be a time when cars were seen as the pinnacle of technology, these paradigm-changing machines that finally replaced horse-powered vehicles on our streets and ushered too many social and economic changes to even list.
Then, as time went by, they turned into work-horses and they lost much of their original technological excitement. Sure, car manufacturers continued improving the cars, but until relatively recently, cars were more or less what they were in the early 20th century, as was our relationship with them.
These days, it feels like we are living during a time of great change in the automotive industry and also in the way we relate with cars.
The Self-Driving Future
Perhaps the biggest and the most momentous shift that we will probably see during our lifetime will be the introduction of self-driving cars to our roads. It doesn’t get more dramatic than that. Instead of driving our cars, we will be using them as transport, putting our lives in their hands, or better said, their computers. They will get us to our destination and we will only hope that no one hacks them.
Many people are lauding this kind of future, but there are also those who say that this will completely change the way we view cars. And it will. It will be all but impossible to have a relationship with such a vehicle more than we do with the bus we take to work. It definitely has its good sides, but removing the actual driving from the equation may be more than some people are ready to accept.
The Accessibility of Everything
For someone who got their driver’s license in the last ten years, a world of driving which does not involve internet is almost too strange to imagine. For example, they cannot imagine not being able to order a sound system for their car without leaving their home. They cannot paint a mental image of not being able to go through gazillion online car ads when purchasing a used car. Also, they cannot imagine how people bought cars before reading a million reviews on very single model available.
Technology has also helped other people involved in the car industry and not just the "regular folk", so to say. For instance, in the States, if you want to start a car dealer business, you can easily find an online guide on doing so. This is not even mentioning how much of the paperwork can be done online if you wish to sell cars, found a car industry-related startup or anything like that.
It is a whole new world out there and it going to get even more internet-based as time goes by.
The Improved Safety
One of the biggest effects technology has had on cars, and this is really something where we have seen a continuous improvement, is our safety. The car manufacturers have been finding out new ways to keep us safer on the road since the very beginnings and it is safe to say that the cars we drive around in these days are at least five times as safe as those our parents drove.
The best thing about it is that they there are new safety advancements being introduced every day, it seems. Concepts such as safety foam, new materials and improved tyres are all just waiting to be implemented in production cars, making them even safer.
To complete the circle, the introduction of self-driven cars is often hailed as the ultimate in safety feature, but this is something we will have to see for ourselves.
Even though some probably wouldn’t agree with this claim, there is more to car than horsepower and appearance. The feeling you have while behind the wheel is as important and is a feature that often comes to prominence when you are on a long road trip. However, this raises yet another question: what are the things that can improve your driving experience? Well, good seating will surely help, but this is not all you can do. Soundproofing your car is also a thing that makes your ride much more pleasurable. Here’s why.
Noise is a Road Hazard
The first thing you need to have in mind is that noise is not only a slight nuisance. It is a genuine road hazard. Constant noise can sometimes cause anxiety which, in turn, makes one agitated while driving. Needless to say, one can call this ‘an accident waiting to happen’. In order to fight it, people usually try to turn up the music volume or simply tune out, which is yet again quite dangerous. With this in mind, soundproofing your car might be the only sensible thing to do.
Reducing the Outside Noise
Now, if you were to make your car overall less noisy, there would be an extremely difficult and pricy task ahead of you. To do this, you would most probably have to spend a fortune on a repair or replacement of parts in your car and, even then, the success of the results would be questionable. However, some cars are made louder than others, which means that nothing is wrong with them in the first place.
Exhaust is Crucial
In order to at least try and make your car a bit more silent, there are few places you need to take a look at. According to people behind Cobra Sport Australia, the most critical thing for a silent car as well as a comfy ride is a proper exhaust that is firmly in place. A loose exhaust increases the frequency, as well as the intensity of vibration and only makes your car noisier.
On the other hand, there are those who remove both the muffler and resonator in order to make their car louder. Still, apart from making your car sounding louder, it could also make your gas mileage worse, which is another reason why this is not recommended. While mufflers don’t add anything to your car’s horsepower, they do improve efficiency.
Soundproofing the Car
There are a few methods one can resort to in order to make their car sound better and they mostly have something to do with damping materials, like mats, sprays and foams. By using mats on the floor of your car, you are likely to reduce the intensity of vibration reaching you. Also, every single hole and crack in your car serves as an amplifier, which is bound to make it noisier. Luckily, with the use of sprays and foams, you can fill them up and resolve this issue in the most cost-efficient manner.
Making your car sound better is not a particularly difficult task, yet it is something not many people decide to do. The most important reason behind this is the myth that if your car sounds bad, there is something seriously wrong with it, something that costs a lot of money to fix. Still, in most cases, all one needs to do is replace or tighten their exhaust system a bit, buy some damping mats and fill any crack with a foam or spray. The price of all these upgrades may not be that great, but the difference you will feel in driving experience would be immeasurable.
The New Oxygen O Car stereo has just been released onto the UK Market. The product specifically released for iPhone is provided with cases which connect into the docking system holding your phone secure & in Place.
Being a little experimental he we thought we’d try the new O Car system with other iPod’s we have lying around the office & Shop. It turns out the stereo also works with the iPod Touch 2g through to 4g. The apps for the radio and system set up can be downloaded via iTunes and used in the same way as the iPhone.
We did however find that the O-Car only works with the newer OS. One of the iTouches with 3.2 would play the radio fine, however non of the music would play through the stereo. A simple upgrade soon corrected this issue though.
If you were looking to use the o car with an iPod there are a few things that you expect not to work correctly.
Firstly as there are no O-Car cases to connect securely into the dock, so you will probably have a loose / tight connection.
Secondly the iPods we tested needed a case to sit in the dock. Without a case the iPod simply falls loose and connection is lost regularly.
Thirdly the case may restrict the iPod docking horizontally back into the stereo. The Case we used was too large and would only sit upright.
Finally, and some what obviously non of the apps specific to iPhone (or that need a internet connection) will work correctly in the O-Car stereo using an iPod touch. Apps like google maps, youtube, petrolbuddy and many many more are made useless by the lack of wifi. Which in the opinion of us in the office and Shop is the point of the system millions of useful apps at your finger tips. Its Still an excellent stereo & well worth the modest price tag.
We’ve had the Oxygen O-Car stereos in for a few days now, and tested a couple of the units we have remaining (These things are going out faster than hot cakes). The full review will follow soon however we just wanted inform you guys of a couple of the good and bad points.
First point to notice is the simple & sleek design. Which means it will sit well in all cars (Well the large majority anyway). We have had them in a few cars now and they look like an upgraded version of the factory unit. Even better when the iPhone is connected. As you would expect the device runs as smooth as the iPhone its self (seeing that the app’s are specifically made for it). So lets get down to a few of the specifics
Docking the iPhone.
The stereo comes with a O-Car iPhone case which enables the iPhone to sit flush into the dock. The dock application is smooth and keeps the iPhone Tightly held in place when connected. Once docked the iPhone works as the stereo. You can access the radio through the O-Car App or any other Web Radio app you may have downloaded by selecting the app in the usual way.
We have also tried using an iPod Touch with the apps downloaded which do work, however there isn’t a specific O-Car Case so it may not sit very well in the dock (We had issues with ours). Another issue we had when using the iPod Touch was playing the music. We tried the iPod which had OS 3.1. Non of the music would play through the stereo however we updated the OS which seemed to resolve the issue.
Horizontal Album Selection.
One of the smaller issues we noticed is actually more of an issue with Apple OS. When the iPhone is horizontal in iPod mode it only shows tracks which are added to albums. None of the non album tracks display until vertical again. This probably wont be an issue for the vast majority of people however it does mean that if you dont group your music files to an album you will be better off using vertical.
Shake to Shuffle.
This will probably catch a lot of you out to start with. If you have Shake to shuffle switched on you will notice that a lot of the tracks will skip forward when you go over a bump in the road. We couldn’t figure out why some of the tacks skipped until it clicked a few hours later
Thats it for a few of our findings for now however a full review is coming soon, & you can see the first of a few videos on youtube here.
Here at Car Audio Plus, we know that sometimes your car audio budgets arent always going to run into the thousands. This is why we have brought back the best ever budget car audio brand; JBL Car Audio!
JBL Car Audio have been around, well, forever it seems! They are the masters of budget car audio and we have them to thank for bringing car audio to the masses. Before JBL there wasnt much choice unless you wanted to spend upwards of £1000 for a speaker and subwoofer system to connect up to your classic cassette stereo. When JBL arrived on the scene, this all changed with the first sub £100 car audio subwoofer and soon released a huge range of speakers, amplifiers and even more subwoofers.
JBL’s UK distribution had faltered in recent years but has now settled and Car Audio Plus are proud to announce that we will finally be restocking all JBL products. Your car audio options just got a whole lot better.
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