How many times, have you felt that your phone navigation works far better than the expensive navigation system in your car? Cars are often behind in technology because the technology advances far quicker than cars. The period of designing and releasing a new car is slow. Each car manufacturer releases a brand new model every six years with some modest upgrades in between. The selected technology for the car might get quickly out of date in the lengthy release cycles, and car manufacturers make this worse by not offering any software upgrades once the car is purchased. Besides, people on average keep their cars for 4.5 to 6 years. So most people can be driving cars with technology that is 5-10 years old! This period contains generations of technological advancements.


There are some movements to change this dynamic. The car manufacturers now have an opportunity to work with big tech companies like Apple and Google to make their cars more adaptable to rapid technological advancements. For example, many car manufacturers like Benz, Volvo, and Honda have started to support Apple CarPlay, which allows drivers to plug in their iPhones into the vehicle’s display for using the map and directions, receiving calls and text messages, and using Siri. Apple CarPlay lets the users upgrade the technology in their cars as fast as upgrading their phones and use a clean and simple iOS interface instead the clunky interfaces made by car manufacturers.


In addition to big companies like Apple, there are smaller start-ups like Exploride that are aiming to take current car technology to the next level. I came across Exploride product on Product Hunt, and I was amazed by the amount of technology that it provides to any car. The product is not out there yet, so I’m basing my assessment on information provided by Exploride on its website and IndieGoGo campaign.

Exploride [Read the update at the bottom] tries to give you what is available in $40000+ luxury cars for under $500. First and foremost, Exploride is a head-up display (HUD), a translucent screen that doesn’t block your field of vision. So you can interact with the map, phone, music, and more without taking your eyes off the road. Moreover, Exploride has gesture-based controls, so you don’t have to touch the screen for answering phone calls, changing music tracks, and other interactions with the device while driving the car. Exploride also offers an OBDII adaptor that connects the device to the car to read data such as speed, tire pressure, and fuel level and display them on the screen.

For music, you can use one of Exploride built-in apps, or you can stream the music from your phone. Exploride has built-in apps such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, and Twitter with the possibility of adding more apps in the future.

Exploride works with your phone’s cellular connection, but you can also put a sim card in it to make the gadget connected via LTE independently and turn it into a WIFI hotspot. To top it off, Exploride offers a dash cam to record what happens on the road! With all of this, Exploride will make the in-dash technology in my 10-year-old car, competitive with latest luxury cars in the market!

Devices like Apple CarPlay and Exploride solve the issues with car technology by making it cheaper and upgradable. Cars manufacturers should just provide some fundamentals such as displays and sensors and let the technology and software companies do the rest. Tech companies implement far better technology for consumers with more options to upgrade and change.

UPDATE 1/1/2018: Exploride couldn’t deliver on the promises it made two years ago. The spec of the product changed dramatically and the company still doesn’t have firm shipping dates for early backers. It looks like Exploride had a lot to chew and grossly underestimate the investment and the effort to build this product.