These gadgets make driving easier, extra comfortable, and more enjoyable than ever.
In the old days, a car was simply a means of getting from point A to point B. Now, we spend so much time in our cars that they've practically become our second homes. We have technology to thank in part for making the hours behind the wheel substantially more enjoyable and more productive. From portable Wi-Fi hotspots to in-car coffee makers, here are 10 accessories and electronics that make every drive so much better—shot inside one of the most future-minded vehicles on the road right now, the hydrogen-powered .
While your cup holder is an excellent place to store your beverages (hence the name), it's not such a great place to store your smartphone. Instead, a dash-mounted smartphone holder can keep your phone from getting banged up or lost, and make it easier to see whatever is on the screen. Should your battery run low, the Mirai comes with a Qi-compatible wireless smartphone-charging pad (concealed inside the center armrest bin)—a nice addition to its audio system, which features JBL® Audio, Entune® App Suite,* and integrated navigation.** Kenu Airframe+ Car Mount ($30),
*Be sure to obey traffic regulations and maintain awareness of road and traffic conditions at all times. Apps/services vary by phone/carrier; functionality depends on many factors. Select apps use large amounts of data; you are responsible for charges. Apps and services subject to change. See toyota.com/entune for details.
**Availability and accuracy of the information provided by the navigation system is dependent upon many factors. Use common sense when relying on information provided. Services and programming subject to change. Services not available in every city or roadway. Updates may be available from your dealer at an additional cost. See Owner's Manual for details.
How many times have you been late because you couldn't find your keys? With a key tracker, those days are numbered. Just register the key tracker with a mobile app on your phone and then connect the two via Bluetooth®. Your phone will tell you exactly where your keys are. Some key trackers even provide a key fob that will help you go the other way around and locate your phone. A must-have for the absent minded. Tile Mate Key Finder ($69.99),
On a long car ride, getting stuck with a lukewarm coffee—or without somewhere to stop for a good cup—happens more often than we'd like. With an in-car coffee or espresso maker, all you have to do is pull over, pop in a coffee pod and plug it into your cigarette lighter. Because a fresh cup of coffee and the Mirai's heated steering wheel are better than gloves in the winter. Handpresso Car Espresso Maker ($185),
It happens all the time: You leave your home or office only to realize you need to email a file from your laptop. A portable WiFi hotspot securely connects up to 15 devices to your 4G LTE or 3G network (unless you're a passenger, park the car first before using a laptop). Think of the Mirai's heated SofTex® seats with power lumbar support as your ergonomic office chair on-the-go. Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot ($200, or $50 with a two-year contract),
An air purifier will not only freshen the air inside your car, it will also remove dust, pollutants, and even most of the bacteria lingering in the air. Given the fact that you're often stuck in traffic breathing in all those things, it's not a bad idea. Philips GoPure Compact Car Air Purifier ($179.99),
Sure, an ice-cold bottle of water is a nice option on a hot day. But with a portable refrigerator in your car, you can also haul perishable groceries without having to rush home from the supermarket. And it's great for picnics, beach days, camping, and road trips (the hydrogen-powered Mirai's only emission is water, so go ahead and travel to your heart's content). National Luna Weekender 50 Liter Fridge ($1,650),
Accidents on the road happen. In the event of one, a dash cam is a great way to document what happened, and it can protect you from anyone out there who's trying to commit insurance fraud. On a lighter note, you can, of course, use a dash cam to record your road trip's amazing scenery. Garmin Dash Cam 35 ($170),
New cars, such as the Mirai, pretty much all have built-in Bluetooth®connectivity, but driving an older car doesn't mean you have to miss out on the luxury of hands-free calling and streaming music. A Bluetooth® adapter kit will make pretty much any car stereo, whether it has an auxiliary audio-input jack or not, Bluetooth® ready. And all for a lot less than the price of installing a new head unit. Anker SoundSync Drive Bluetooth 4.0 (21.99),
You should never drive anywhere without a set of jumper cables. But if you're stranded somewhere and there isn't another car to give you a jump, a mini jump starter, which stores easily in your trunk, will give you enough juice to start your car without having to rely on the close proximity of a kind stranger. Weego 44 Jump Starter Battery + ($150),
If you suddenly find yourself with a slow-leaking tire, you can cross your fingers and hope you make it to a gas station in time, or you can pull over and fill your tire with a portable air compressor. Small enough to fit in your trunk, most portable air compressors can be powered by your car's cigarette lighter. Viair 400P-Automatic Portable Air Compressor ($42.95),