Today’s vehicles, whether electric or not, are filled with technology, infotainment and games to kill time when waiting for a charge, or just waiting in the carpool lane. Automakers like BMW and Tesla are adding video game capability, and with Google Built-in and Amazon Fire TV streaming video is here. Beyond that, companies are making nostalgia a part of the drive, and adding ways to relax when the day is over. Here are some of the best.
AirConsole Gaming – BMW 5 Series/i5
BMW has inked a deal with the AirConsole gaming service to provide hundreds of casual games to the curved infotainment display in the cabin. They include racing, sports, quiz and music quiz games as well as simulation, strategy, jump-and-run and puzzle games. There are only 15 now including “Go Kart Go”, “Golazo”, “Music Guess” and “Overcooked”. BMW says the portfolio of available games will be continually expanded.
YouTube Videos – Mercedes-Benz EQS
The new electric Mercedes-Benz EQS will launch with a production-ready version of DRIVE PILOT that allows drivers to take their hands and eyes off the road when in traffic under 40 miles per hour. Through its infotainment system partnership with Google, owner of YouTube, when in slow traffic drivers can watch movie trailers, Minecraft clips or anything else on the massive video platform.
Amazon Fire TV – Jeep Grand Wagoneer
The more-optioned Jeep Grand Wagoneer comes with a digital instrument cluster for the driver, a central infotainment display and a screen for the front passenger. With Wi-Fi and Amazon Fire Built-in passengers in the front or back can watch anything available on the Amazon platform including Disney Plus, Hulu and Netflix, in addition to Prime Video. Each passenger can pick their own content.
Look at the (Simulated) Stars – Rolls-Royce Spectre
The Starlight Headliner and Doors in the latest Rolls-Royce Spectre (and Phantom, Ghost and Wraith) are created by fitting fiber optic strands at different depths and angles. That causes the stars to light up in different intensities and directions. The brightness can also be adjusted to suit the driver’s mood. The constellation of each Starlight Headliner is completely unique to the owner. The process takes more than 17 hours to complete.
Order a Pizza – Chevrolet
Domino’s Pizza is part of the Chevrolet Marketplace meaning customers can order pizza to carry out or be delivered right from their infotainment screen. Choosing from saved orders and recent orders stop hungry patrons from sifting through the entire Domino’s menu while driving, and once a customer has setup their Pizza Profile, they can order and pay at any time, right from their vehicle.
Control Your Smarthome – Nissan and Infiniti
A decade ago, the only thing at home that could be accessed with your vehicle was the garage door. With Alexa embedded in most Nissans and Infinitis, buyers can now use all the same functions in their vehicle as they do on a home Alexa. Commands like “turn on the porch light” or “turn the heat up to 72 degrees” can be uttered on the commute home. It can also control your home cameras, locks and even a television.
Sleep Soundly – Volkswagen I.D. Buzz
The Volkswagen I.D. Buzz just appeared at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey Bay, California, but a few weeks earlier the electric I.D. Buzz van was at the inaugural International Volkswagen Bus Day where the company showed off its Accessories Concept with the a kitchen/bed combo from EU-based Ququq. The modular unit converts into a bed for two and features a functional kitchen and food prep area. It’s currently available in Europe but will be available in the U.S. soon.
Pamper your Pooch – Subaru
Many people travel with their pets and there’s no safer way than in a Subaru. The company has dozens of pet accessories including ramps for the older dogs, padded cargo liners for the Ascent, Forester and Outback, as well as harnesses, seat protectors and travel bowls that won’t spill in the car.
Customize Your Space – Ford FITS
In the Ford Maverick buyers can download specs to 3D print accessories like grocery hooks, phone mounts, purse holders and dozens of other items for its Ford Integrated Tether System or FITS. Customers have created cupholders and latches for all manner of equipment and some have even went to Etsy and Ebay to sell their creations.
Relive Your Childhood – Ford Mustang
The new Ford Mustang not only took some exterior styling from its ’80s and ’90s Fox Body predecessor, it also borrowed the gauges. In the new Mustang, the speedometer and tachometer are digital, but they’re also customizable meaning you can pick from several options including the round, white- or green-marked gauges of one of the most iconic Mustangs.