Cool baby gear is great but so are these cool car features!
Between strollers, car seats, baby carriers and slings, the options for cool baby gear are nearly endless. The options for your car are almost as endless. And, technology has advanced to the point where there are so many helpful features in automotive transportation that it would be a shame to miss out due to lack of knowledge.
Here are 8 of our favorite features for new families. These are thoughtful features that make life easier when your hands are full, arms are loaded and a tiny life is depending on you to make the best decisions that you can.
1. Driver Assist Tools
Driver assist tools like backup cameras, blind spot sensors and automatic pre-collision braking help create a safer driving experience. These technology-assisted features allow the driver to see what is behind, beside and near you in ways that drivers of past generations never could; thus make driving safer for you, your loved ones and others on the road.
2. Keyless entry and remote starters
When your hands are full and it is raining outside, keyless entry and remote starters are lifesavers. They make life simple when you could use an extra set of hands. Keyless entry eliminates the need to sorting through a mass of keys while you are trying to get a little one in the car, while a remote starter lets you create a comfortable in car environment when it is 100 degrees outside.
3. Hands-free foot activated lift gates
At the Houston Auto Show, I saw several different forms of this technology in action, and as a mom of three, it is just plain cool. Simply wiggle your foot under the sensor and, like magic, the lift gate opens or closes. Trust me, it actually feels like magic at work when you are trying to take the groceries out the car in one trip, putting a stroller in or getting ready for a road-trip.
4. Bluetooth enabled hands-free communication and voice-activated technology
In many states, like mine, it is illegal to text and drive. It is also safer to have your hands on the wheel and focused on the road ahead. New technology has been upgraded to allow you to manipulate almost everything on your phone with just a few simple words. New tech makes the syncing of your portable information device to your vehicle simple. Everything from setting the directional GPS systems, changing the podcast station to calling your mom to ask which kind of flour she uses in her famous pancakes can be voice-activated. It keeps your hands off the phone and on the wheel — a win-win.
5. Simple latch systems
Putting a child passenger safety seat in a vehicle should not be complicated. It should be a simple, driver-friendly process with simple, effective anchors and mounting features. New technology has transitioned to the point where they are easily labeled with directional symbols so that you can get your child in and out with ease. The technology is here and is one of my favorite features to see in cars.
6. In-floor and expanded cargo storage systems
Kids come with an amazing amount of gear. You can quickly become inundated by bags, toys, strollers, pack-n-plays and extras that quite simply did not factor into your travel plans before they arrived on the scene. In-floor storage systems allow for easy, out-of-sight storage to create more passenger comfort and breathing space inside the vehicle. Expanded cargo storage systems allow for more space to get the things you need to take with you to make life happen.
7. Sliding and power folding passenger seats
With convertible, almost modular second and third seat options on the rise, it is not a surprise that more and more happens in the rear of the vehicle. Sliding and seats that fold with the touch of a button eliminate the gymnastic endeavors of parents in the past. These features allow you to get in and out of the back with ease, perfect for those days when you have one extra person in the car or “blankey” falls between the two seats.
8. Headrest mounted entertainment systems
I fell in love with these on our last family road trip. The headrest mounted entertainment systems allowed everyone in the second and third rows to have their own screen without the distraction of a folding screen near the driver. The screens are mounted into the rear of the headrest and sound can be controlled in the front or in the back with a touch of a button. The simplicity of the technology made this mama very happy.