Goodies to save you time and fuel
Flagship in features and price:
Pioneer’s flagship AVIC-Z140BH navigation multimedia receiver features a seven-inch touch screen display, built-in Bluetooth, an Advanced App mode that promises greater interactivity with iphone and ipod apps and voice control for hands-free operation. It has a built-in traffic tuner, which, in partnership with Clear Channel Broadcasting, provides real-time traffic data for more than 90 cities in Canada and the United States. Unfortunately, in Canada, the traffic tuner provides data for only Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver. A seven-band graphic equalizer complements a MOSFET amplifier, and the interface features customizable home screen shortcuts and multiple button colour illumination options to match any interior. Built-in GPS provides Navteq-powered North American map data, alongside 12 million points of interest. It also has compatibility with Aha Radio and Pandora Radio served up from IOS and Android devices. In other words, the AVIC-Z140BH pretty much does everything that a car stereo can and should do, and it better or else its price tag could be classified as grand larceny. $1,300; for more information visit pioneerelectronics.ca
Guzzle less gas: For owners of gas-guzzling monster vehicles and everybody else who is victimized by rising fuel costs, Drivegain is an iphone app that shapes driving habits to improve fuel economy and save money. Users enter information about their car and DriveGain tracks how the car’s operated. It also shows how said operation impacts fuel economy. The developer boasts that users of DriveGain can realize approximately $210 per year in fuel savings. The website provides a breakdown of its calculation, demonstrating that the number is not pulled out of thin air. There are two versions of Drivegain: a free app featuring a fuel efficiency gauge that also grades drivers on their habits and a pay version that includes a series of gauges that track, among other items, the amount of money that efficient drivers can save on each trip. It’s not yet available for Android, but that’s not to say that non-ios users are out of luck. High gas prices aren’t going anywhere, and we’ll showcase other smartphone fuel-saving apps and gadgets throughout spring. $6.99 for premium version; visit IOS app store.