Going beyond the typical GPS system, Dash Express ($400 plus subscription) is an internet-connected navigation device, offering both cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity. This enables it to get real-time traffic data from other users, which it uses to show you the best (quickest) routes to your destination. Other features include local Yahoo! search, the ability to send addresses to the device via the internet, and more. The second generation of GPS starts now.
The "Check Engine" light has long been a thorn in the side of car owners, requiring an expensive trip to the garage to get rid of it. The Actron PocketScan Diagnostic Code Reader ($40) lets you retrieve trouble codes from your vehicle's computer on your own, giving you valuable diagnostic information, and letting you clear the codes and turn off the light. Of course, for more pressing matters you'll still need the help of a mechanic, but at least now you'll know exactly what's wrong with your ride before you take it in for repair.
Need to have the most heavy-duty cover you can get for your truck? Look no further than the DiamondBack HD Truck Cover ($TBA). This bad boy can support 1600 lbs. on top, enough for plenty of extra supplies, or even two full-size ATVs. Other features include unique winged panels for easy access, 12 tie-down cleats to make sure your cargo is secured, and two keyed locks that turn the truck bed into a secure storage area. [Thanks, Brandon]
Even if you consider yourself a law-abiding citizen, there are always situations which call for a bit more speed than the law allows, and for those times, the Cobra XRS R9G Radar Detector ($450) looks like a winner. In addition to S-XRS Maximum Performance 12 Band Technology with LaserEye for reliable detection of radar and laser guns, the R9G also includes a GPS locator, which works in concert with a database of speed and red light cameras to offer even more protection from the fuzz. [via]
Calling it the ultimate GPS might be going a bit too far, but it sure does rock. The new TomTom GO 920T ($700; Q4 2007) packs features like a 4.3-inch, 480 x 272 touch screen, Bluetooth, a RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver, a built-in FM transmitter, 4GB of internal storage, an SD card slot, Enhanced Positioning Technology that uses movement and gravity sensors to calculate position when GPS signals are unavialable, and more. Like we said, "a bit too far."
Cut down on those wasted Saturday afternoons washing your car with the Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash ($20). This souped-up garden hose attachment contains all the elements you'll need to wash your car down and see it dry spot-free in a few minutes without raising a rag.
We really despise most car sun shades, but if you need to use one due to your area's oppressive Summer heat, it should be this one. The Dracula Car Sun Shade ($25) is made from reflective material and features a great graphic in the corner of the old bloodsucker wincing, trying to shield himself from the sun.
Meet the new big-brother of "the world's number one selling portable navigation device." The TomTom One XL ($400; May 2007) offers users a large 4.3-inch touch screen and a sleek, lightweight design. The One XL features real-time traffic and road condition updates through the TomTom PLUS service, as well as faster loading times with QuickGPSfix software and Bluetooth 2.0.
Tailgaters — we all hate them. Don't give them the finger next time, but instead flash them with the Driving LED Emoticon ($30). This LED light show, attached to your rear windshield with a suction cup, is controlled via a remote and communicates your emotions in one of five different messages — smiling face, frowning face, "Thanks," "Back Off" and, our favorite, "Idiot."
While it may look like a hockey puck to some, the Motorola T815 Smartphone-Based Navigation System ($TBA) is designed to pair with your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone to provide turn-by-turn GPS navigation. Spoken directions and maps on screen with visual directions. It can even help your evening commute via updated traffic information.
Performance driver wannabes rejoice — the DriftBox ($750) gives you the in-car data you need to better pull off that power slide you've always longed to do in your Civic. This GPS-based device measures speed, position, acceleration and drift ten times per second to provide accure display data and measurements which you can later compare against your buddies — provided they aren't scraping you off the racetrack.
If you didn't happen to snag a new GPS system over the holidays, fear not — you may have been lucky. The Garmin Nuvi 680 ($1100; Q1 2007) is the new flagship of the Nuvi line, featuring up-to-the-minute weather and traffic updates from MSN Direct. Looking for gas? It knows the prices at the surrounding stations. It sports a 4.3-inch touchscreen, handsfree Bluetooth for sending and receiving calls, and Garmin's easy-to-use interface. Traveling has never been so fun.