Car tech makes the Great American Road Trip better. GPS helps us find our way. Bluetooth connectivity lets us talk hands-free. Back-up cameras expand our vision. What’s that? You have an 11-year-old car with little or no tech? The Consumer Electronics Association knows how to turn that old car into a technological wonder–all for a price that is far less than the cost of a new, tech-savvy car.

Upgrade Your Car Tech

It's possible to upgrade car tech so even 11-year-old cars can be tech-savvy.

Photo courtesy of Consumer Electronics Association

The average American is driving an 11-year-old car. That means the car was made three years before the first generation iPhone hit the market. So it’s little wonder that the average car lacks modern technology like Bluetooth connectivity that lets you talk hands free and stream all 64 gigs of music you have stored on your brand new iPhone 6s Plus.

The Consumer Electronics Association says it’s easy (and pretty affordable) to upgrade your car tech. CEA was a sponsor of the #TNTChicago Tech and Travel event, held Sept. 16, 2015, at the elegant InterContinental Chicago hotel. CEA brought along some car tech products that can turn your old car into a connected car.

Products you can buy to upgrade your car tech:

It's possible to upgrade your car tech.

Photo courtesy of the Consumer Electronics Association.

AAMP TranzIt BLU HF. Installs in any vehicle so you can make calls hands-free and listen to music streaming services or music stored on your phone. $149.95.

Cobra – Drive HD Dash Cam
  • Records everything the drivers sees.
  • Infrared LEDs for night vision
  • Accelerometer senses sudden accelerations and collisions and automatically protect
  • footage surrounding the incident.
  • Connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth to enable features like GPS location and shared alert via iRadar Community $199
Brandmotion Rear Vision System with Mirror Display: Just like the system in new cars, this can retrofit your car with a back up camera. $699
Pioneer AVIC-7100NEX multimedia receiver with Apple CarPlay and Android
Auto: Ask Siri for help just like someone with a new car can! $699
Voxx CarLink: Track your vehicle, auto-send an alert to emergency services in case of an accident, get real-time performance diagnostics (and keep tabs on the new driver in your family). ($249 plus $9.99/mo.)
to ensure they stay safe and drive smart.
Verizon Hum: Remote start and unlock with your phone. $14.99/month on

Please note: CEA says that most upgrades require careful disassembly of parts of your car to install the new hardware and/or software. So it’s important to hire someone who knows what he or she is doing. CEA certifies technicians trained to do this work. They’re call Mobile Electronics Certified Professionals. There are about 3,500 of them in the United States. Find the one closest to you by Googling “car electronics installation [your city]” then call that retailer and ask about the installers’ training and certification.

Join Us for a #TNTChicago #TMOM Twitter Party

During this special Thursday night #TMOM party, we’ll talk about upgrading your car tech and give away some cool prizes.

WHEN: October 1, 9-10 pm ET (8-9 pm CT; 7-8 pm MT; 6-7 pm PT)

WHO: Panelists @travelingmoms @KimOrlando @CindyTravelsOn @Techlicious @LittleTechGirl @SuzanneKantra

HOW TO JOIN: Follow the #TNTChicago, #TMOM or #Techlicious hashtags.

SPONSORS: Consumer Electronics Association (#ConnectMyCar) and InterContinental Chicago (@InterConChicago)

PRIZES: 2 Cobra HD Dash Cams and 2 Cobra JumPacks

(2) One Night Stays at the InterContinental Chicago with the Family Fun Package 

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#TNTChicago 10-1-2015