Near obsolete car gadgets

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While we might not (yet) be flying around the city en route to the office or mall in our flying cars as was 'promised' in the last century, one thing is certain; technology has and continues to change the automotive industry. These advances have meant that once necessary or highly desirable accessories and gadgets are simply becoming obsolete in new vehicles. Here are just five such examples of near obsolete car gadgets.

Car Stereos

In the past most vehicles came with either a very basic car stereo or just a cover plate, leaving the car owner to purchase and install seperate car stereo kit. Today however, the need to install or replace a car stereo is near obsolete on new vehicles. As a standard, most cars today are fitted with an integrated car audio system that is build into the dashboard console and is are replaceable, because there simply is no need to.


Today's car 'stereos' feature CD, MP3, Bluetooth and even DVD playback and have auxiliary, SD card and USB inputs to connect additional devices. So, while there is still a market for car stereos for older vehicles, as an accessory it is simply becoming obsolete for new car owners.

Popular brands: Sony, JVC, Pioneer, Kenwood and LG

Mobile GPS Devices

Introduced in the early 90's, the GPS became the king of car accessories by the beginning of the new millennium. It was the penultimate accessory to own if you wanted to boost your driver ego and brands like Garmin and TomTom quickly become household names. Today with smartphone GPS capabilities and apps like Google Maps the need for a dedicated, mobile 'handheld' GPS device is obsolete.

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Now, more and more vehicle manufactures are incorporating GPS navigation as standard features in their cars and within the next three to five years it will be the norm in most probably all vehicles. Proof of this is evident in the push that brands like Garmin and TomTom are making in the wearable tech sphere.

Popular brands: Garmin, TomTom, Mio and Magellan

Charging Adapters

People depend heavily on our mobile devices for work and for play and they are the lifeline connection to the world we are connected to. In years past the need for charging adapter accessories was a must and not just some random tech gadget. Cars did not come standard with USB charging ports, so we all relied on one or other form of charging accessory for our mobile devices. Usually this was in the for of a charging adapter you plugged into the 12V power/lighter socket in your car.

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Now however, you will probably not find a new vehicle on the road which is not equipped with a USB port for connectivity and charging. Vehicle manufactures understand our dependence on mobile technology and adding these ports is a simple, inexpensive feature which has now made charging adapters near obsolete.

Popular brands: Belkin, Tronsmart, Insignia and Dynex

Hands-free Devices

Most people should all know the risks and dangers of using a mobile phone while driving. The potentially lethal combination of driving and mobile use lead to the development of 'hands-free' devices which would allow the user to focus on the road ahead while still being able to make and receive calls on their mobile phone. As authorities began  implementing and enforcing laws restricting the use of mobile devices while driving the demand for hands-free devices grew exponentially.

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The need to address the issue eventually lead to many vehicle manufactures incorporating hands-free functionality into their vehicles via Bluetooth connectivity and steering-wheel controls. As with other accessories listed here, the addition of hands-free functionality is becoming a standard feature in new cars today.

Popular brands: Parrot, Panasonic and Plantronics

MP3 FM Transmitters

Back in the day it was great having the ability to have your entire music collection being able to fit on a memory stick, the pain however, was playing that music in your car. Burning tracks to CD was tedious and only if you were will you dig deep could the average Joe afford yet another car stereo upgrade which had a USB port. The solution: you went out and bough an MP3 FM transmitter.. You simply plugged in your memory stick, tuned in your radio and off you went. If you were luck you may even have gotten a tiny remote.

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Now vehicle manufactures add USB ports that functioned as both a chraging port and a way to connect your device to your car's audio system. All this makes the need for the MP3 FM transmitter obsolete, along with the need to waste time finding the tiny remote which always seemed to slide between the car seat - just out of hands reach.

Popular brands: Griffin, Belkin and Insignia

Let us know in the comments below which car gadgets you see becoming obsolete in the near future?






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Fabian Balewa

Freelance gaming and eSports blogger. Loves RTS, RPG, MMO and FPS games. When not writing, he can be found planning a trip or traveling, coffee mug in hand.

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