There are so many in-car technologies that have been developed in recent years that we already take for granted. No longer do we find ourselves listening to the same radio station, tape deck or CD repetitively, just because we’ve no other option — we’ve got AUX ports and Bluetooth to save us from that experience.
Whether it’s soul crushing rush hour endurances to fun road trips with our friends, there’re a plethora of driving companions we can download on our smartphones to improve our driving experience. With the creation of apps designed to help us save money as well as making driving safer, are we getting better and smarter at driving?
Being a driver means spending lots of money on fuel to get us from A to B. Although this can be a drain on our finances, it’s necessary spending for the majority. At the beginning of January 2020, BBC reported that drivers are already noticing climbing fuel prices, combined with winter demand and tensions between the U.S. and Iran pushing petrol up by 6.7 per cent, the first monthly rise since July 2019. According to the AA, British drivers are facing the steepest fuel prices since 2014, translating to an additional £7 per week for the average car.
Luckily for us, and thankfully to technology, there’s a smartphone app to help you avoid paying higher prices for fuel. PetrolPrices is a fuel comparison app which compares fuel station prices in your local area up to a 20-mile radius — helping you save money over a period of time that could result in hundreds of pounds of savings.
Here, we show a breakdown of potential savings from PetrolPrices:
National average price: 24p per litre
Savings per year: £225.94
National average price: 21p per litre
Savings per year: £158.25
- Super unleaded
National average price: 33p per litre
Savings per year: £495.00
- Premium diesel
National average price: 27p per litre
Savings per year: £289.29
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With stricter driving regulations existing in the UK, including government plans to ban the use of phones for any purpose when behind the wheel, maintaining safe driving and preventing distractions is of utmost importance.
Many of us use GPS-driven maps to help us navigate where we’re going, with additional features showing congestion and estimated times of arrival. However, Waze has innovated the sat nav world by offering turn-by-turn, voice-guided, real-time updates derived from other “Wazers” usage of the app — hailed as one of the most reliable and accurate navigation apps. Accumulating data from around 100 million other drivers on the roads, Waze is constantly informed about goings on to calculate the best routes for you, whether it’s construction works, accidents, police activity or weather conditions.
Wazers can earn points when they contribute to the app’s information, as well as showing live updates of their friends who use the app, helping those traveling to meet at the same destination keep up to date with what’s going on. No more need for that “I’m five minutes away!” text.
The modern working world requires a lot of us to travel for work, whether it’s with a first-class train ticket or in a Transit Custom. For those who need to calculate their business driving expenses but have had an exhausting or stressful day, it can be easy to put off a daunting task or forget to note down accurate logs of travel.
MileIQ is a godsend for those of us travelling up and down the country, allowing you to categorise which trips are personal and which are business. Using your smartphone’s GPS to automatically track each trip, as well as stoppage times, you can automatically log your travels down to the fraction of a mile. Gone are the days of hit and miss mileage logs — less stress and more mileage reimbursements.
Finding somewhere to park can be a huge hassle, trawling streets and back alleys for a free space in a busy city on a Saturday afternoon isn’t on the top of anyone’s to do list. AppyParking is one of the best parking apps available, with a nationwide car park directory in 12 major cities in the UK, including London.
With an interactive map, this app displays information including where you can park off-street as well as rapid charging points for electric cars, how much it costs to park, and the ability to pay directly through the app. This is appealing as many of us are cashless now, carrying round either our phone or card to make payments.
So, these were some of the move innovate smartphone apps making our driving experiences that little bit better in 2020. We look forward to seeing how much more technological savvy apps will make us in the next decade!