Gadgets to go
WHILE MANY MODERN vehicles feature all sorts of electronic and mechanical gadgetry for creature comfort and safety, there are plenty of add-ons on
the market for those who are driving older models or who found the manufacturer’s options a bit too pricey. The criteria for the items described here are
that they have to be usable out of the box or easily installed. In some cases,
they are also meant for relatively late-model automobiles. (Items listed are
not necessarily endorsed by Costco.)
GPS stands for Global Positioning System and covers a range of products
that give you real-time navigation assistance. While women may believe it was
created to help men avoid the embarrassment of asking for directions, it was
originally developed by the U.S. Department of Defense for military purposes.
Aided by a network of 24 satellites in Earth orbit, GPS systems calculate
a vehicle’s position and can provide directions to a given location accurate to
within an average of approximately 15 meters, or a little more than 49 feet.
GPS systems can be ordered as installed options in new vehicles or purchased separately. Manufacturers such as Garmin, JVC and Magellan offer
portable models that work right out of the box and can be carried in a briefcase for the mobile worker who frequently changes vehicles. Many models
even offer entertainment capabilities, such as satellite radio, MP3 players and
photo viewers. Just don’t forget to watch the road.