Best Tech for Hitting the Road
Presenting the latest and greatest in high-tech gizmos, gear, and gadgetry.
Photo by Mark Elias
Bolt forward in Chevy’s peppy all-electric car
This could well be the battery-electric vehicle that gets you to quit the gas pump for good. The Chevy Bolt EV is the first affordable rechargeable four-wheeler that gets a 240-mile range on one charge — enough to cure “range anxiety” for most drivers. You’ll quickly adapt to the Bolt’s novel one-pedal driving style (there’s a brake just in case) and find yourself smoothly peeling rubber in this sporty cruiser. The low-profile battery allows ample passenger room and cargo space, too.
Available now from local Chevrolet dealers; base price $37,500 (before savings from applicable tax credits)
A two-way dash cam for peace of mind
We’ve all seen viral videos of unsafe drivers or purveyors of parking-lot mayhem caught on surveillance cameras, identified and brought to justice. A full-time car witness is available in the Blackvue DR650GW-2CH, a juice-can-sized multimedia recorder with front-and-rear facing cameras. It senses any impact and bookmarks accompanying video and audio, stored in on-board memory or uploaded to the cloud. It also alerts a smartphone if someone is trying to break into an unattended car.
Available from Amazon; from $389
Ride the fastest motorcycle ever: 100% electric
First, the zippy Lightning LS-218 set the world land speed record for all street-legal production motorcycles at Bonneville Salt Flats, then beat its original average of 173 mph with a top speed of 218 mph in 2012 (a yet-to-be-matched mark by any other two-wheeler, gas or electric.) Granted, no civilian will race the aptly-named Lightning anywhere near max, but it’s reassuring to know there’s an ample 200 hp underneath the cowling to speed you out of harm’s way. Built to individual customer specs, this flashy conveyance is powered by an economical pennies-per-mile electric engine and sturdy lightweight rechargeable battery.
Available through www.lightningmotorcycle.com; base price $38,888
Look ahead to driving with an up-front display
No more distracting glances downward to view instrument panels, screen incoming calls, or check GPS-indicated routes while in the driver’s seat. The Navdy “augmented driving” device projects real-time information onto a transparent lens that sits inches from the windshield, so eyes can stay safely focused on the road ahead. This kind of visualization, known as head- or heads-up display (HUD), was first developed for military fighter pilots. Some current high-end car models come with HUD built-in, but thanks to Navdy, anyone can add this leading-edge technology to any vehicle.
Available from Best Buy; $499