10 gifts for the data-driven driver or car lover

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10 gifts for the data-driven driver or car lover

Welcome to the 2016 TechCrunch Holiday Gift Guide! We’ll be rolling out a bunch of guides leading up to Christmas, hopefully making your holiday shopping a little easier. Looking for gifts for others on your list? Check out our full 2016 Gift Guide Hub.

Cars are okay on their own but they can be better. We have the technology. And this is a gift guide of that technology.

You can spend a lot or you can spend a little, but the items on this list should all enhance the vehicular experience – without also providing unnecessary distraction or additional risk. One day this gift will look very different, thanks to autonomous cars being available everywhere. But not today.


Automatic Pro

The Automatic Pro is basically a central nervous system for your car. The Pro version also has its own built-in always-on 3G data connection, which allows it to alert the authorities automatically in case of an accident, among other things. What’s nice about Automatic is how seamlessly it blends into your existing car life.


Pearl RearVision backup camera

Pearl’s RearVision is a backup camera with no messy installation required – it’s a Wi-Fi enabled license plate cover that talks to your smartphone. The team behind it are ex-Apple, so the hardware engineering is on point, and it’s getting regular updates to make it better – like a parking lines overlay for backing safely into spots.


Waylens Horizon driving camera

Dashcams are a dime a dozen, but the Waylens Horizon is more like a GoPro for your car. It’s best if you actually have cause to drive fast, or over off-road terrain, but it’s still very cool in general for capturing footage out the front of your vehicle.


Mountek nGroove CD slot mount for smartphones

Older cars have CD slots but no Bluetooth because the world was so backwards even just five years ago. The Mountek nGroove is a great way to put your smartphone in GPS mode on cars with outdated infotainment systems. And if you’ve got Android, this is the perfect partner to the Android Auto app for distraction-free in-car navigation and tunes.


Nomad Roadtrip charger/backup battery

The lighter power port in your car has not held a lighter in a long time, but it does provide a useful source of power. The Nomad Roadtrip is a USB charger, with both full size USB A and USB Type C ports, but it also holds a 3,000 mAh backup battery so you can take more power with you when you leave the car, too.


FOBO Tire Plus tire pressure monitors

24-7 monitoring of your tire pressure via Bluetooth, which you can share with multiple drivers. This is a great thing to have either if you’re a gear head used to keeping track of your tire pressure, or if you don’t pay as much attention to it as you should.


Apple Watch

Apple Watch is a bit unusual for inclusion here, but the subtle taps it provides for turn-by-turn directions while you’re driving around is actually super useful, especially if you’d rather not leave voice guidance on.


Anker Compact Car jump starter and battery

Occasionally you may need to jump-start your car, and this is a compact way to make sure you can do that without requiring any outside assistance. It also has juice for USB devices, and a built-in flashlight, and it’s small and highly portable.


StatGear SuperVizor escape tool

If all goes well, you should never need this tool, but having it readily accessible behind your visor is a good backup plan in case things don’t go so great.


ZUS Smart Car Charger with Car Locator

Another option for the lighter port – this one contains a built-in locator which works with a companion app to remind you of where you parked and directly you back to your spot. It also includes support for a suite of connected car apps or more advanced features like meter monitoring.