Motoring gadgets come in various shapes and sizes from sophisticated integrated technology to portable vacuum cleaners. Many of these gadgets are less useful than a paper umbrella, but some are worth their weight in gold.
One such technological marvel is night vision. The system requires the vehicle to be fitted with a front mounted infra-red camera. This monitors the view ahead and displays the image on a screen. Roads appear brighter than reality and people/animals become particularly prominent. Clearly, this is impressive technology that could significantly reduce accidents.
A lane departure warning system may also make driving safer. This device uses a camera and speed sensors to determine when the vehicle deviates from its lane. If the driver drifts without first indicating, a buzzer sounds, the seat vibrates, or a warning light appears. The aim is to minimise the effect of accidental manoeuvres caused by fatigue or lack of concentration.
These camera systems are worthwhile but let's consider something for the kids. Headrest mounted screens play DVDs, music, and Freeview television. Some also support home-made media such as DVD+/- and DivX. This technology can be specified with new vehicles and retrofitted to older models. The main advantage is the kids are occupied leaving you time to admire the night vision.
Gadgets can be expensive and it is difficult to quantify how much value (if any) they add to a vehicle. However, cars featuring rare and useful technology are arguably more appealing than standard machinery. Gadgets may therefore give your vehicle a unique selling point that marginally increases its value.