Better mileage, zero- or low-emissions vehicles, and driverless cars—these three transportation trends add up to increased car travel in the coming months and years. That’s certainly the message that came through this month at the 2015 International Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. Read on for the most exciting takeaways.
While Airbnb.com has dominated travel headline news around the mushrooming peer-to-peer economy, another player in the P2P space has quietly been gaining ground, offering travelers a feel-good alternative to traditional car rentals. Launched in 2010, RelayRides today announces what could be a game-changing feature—convenient delivery of your selected car to your home, hotel, or airport.
According to AAA, more than 34 million Americans will hit the road this holiday weekend. If you’re still planning your getaway, watch T+L’s Sarah Spagnolo share five iconic American drives, along with some affordable hotels, on the Today Show.
Planning a summer drive? These five tools—vetted by T+L tech correspondent Tom Samiljan—will help you make the most of every mile.
FOR ON-ROAD ENTERTAINMENT TUNE IN RADIO You’re unlikely to get playlist fatigue listening to the app’s 100,000-plus radio stations from all over the world, but if you do, Tune In also offers streaming access to an inexhaustible number of concerts, podcasts, and talk shows on a clean, user-friendly interface. From NPR news updates to local traffic alerts and sports scores, this all-purpose radio app delivers in spades. (Free; Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone)
FOR GPS (AND MORE) SCOUT This app by mapping giant Telenav may be the most practical tool for road trippers: it finds the cheapest gas stations, dictates turn-by-turn directions at your request, and provides personalized recommendations (restaurants, hotels, even local concerts or events) along any multi-leg route. Bonus: the Arrival Guide feature (iOS only) points out the best parking options near your destination. (Free; Android, iOS)
FOR ITINERARY SUGGESTIONS GREATEST DRIVE Still charting the course of your drive? This app suggests the best road-trip itineraries nearby, annotating each with a summary, star rating, and user reviews. (It’ll also tell you whether a road is twisty, scenic, or likely to be traffic-plagued.) Can’t find what you’re looking for? Integration with Yelp helps you pick places to eat and things to see along the way. (Free; Android, iOS)
FOR HANDS-FREE SHARING GLYMPSE Texting and driving isn’t just dangerous—in most states, it’s illegal. That’s why Glympse, which automatically relays your GPS location to family and friends, is invaluable when you’re sticking to a schedule. Your information is sent only to predetermined contacts in your phone book, for select windows of time—making it easy to keep your eyes on the road. (Free; Android, iOS)
FOR QUIRKY ATTRACTIONS ROADSIDE AMERICA If you’re driving cross-country just for kicks, you might like to see Pittsburgh’s Robot Hall of Fame, or the world’s largest collection of teapots, in Trenton, Tennessee. The app also sheds light on the idiOSyncrasies of beloved attractions (historical monuments; parks; sports arenas)—10,000 venues in all. (From $2.99; iOS)
AUTOCONNECTION Thanks to new connected-car technology, your favorite mobile apps are now being optimized for in-dash touch screens. Carmakers from GM to Audi are introducing built-in apps, while initiatives by Apple (CarPlay) and the Android-focused Open Automotive Alliance are being integrated into select Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Volvo models, among others. What to expect: voice-activated Web search, OpenTable reservations booked from your car, and maps showing how far you can go at current gas levels.
TECHWATCH Meet the next generation of public Wi-Fi: Hotspot 2.0. These secure networks offer an automatic connection—simply walk within range and voilà, you’re online. Boingo subscribers can find them at 23 major U.S. airports; access is also available for Time Warner Cable customers coast-to-coast.
The best way to explore Chile? On a road trip from Santiago to the port city of Valpraiso. Here are the essential stops.
Bocanáriz: With more than 300 wines (35 by the glass), the brick-walled bar—whose name means “mouth-nose”—has the country’s largest selection of Chilean varietals. Bilingual sommeliers will walk you through the list, and the food menu is divided into sections such as land and sea. 276 José Victorino Lastarria. $$
Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral: The former headquarters of Pinochet’s military dictatorship has become Chile’s biggest cultural center, hosting theater and dance performances. Political photos by native son Claudio Pérez are now on view inside the sprawling copper fortress. 227 Avda. Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins.
The rideshare service Lyft—which debuted last year exclusively in San Francisco—recently launched in 24 new markets. Now, the app connects the world’s largest network of on-demand rides with people who need a lift.
The 2014 New York International Auto Show opens today, and it’s stocked with new cars and models that are sure to push your next road trip into high gear. Standouts include the 2015 Jeep Renegade, inspired by the original Jeep Wrangler; the 2015 Chevrolet Trax, another small SUV, complete with a built-in WiFi hotspot; the redesigned Camry with improved handling for quick turns; Chevrolet’s new 625-horsepower ZO6 Convertible; and the 50th anniversary Ford Mustang, which was reconstructed piece by piece on 86th floor of the Empire State Building. See these cars and more in person—the auto show at the Javits Center is open through Sunday, April 27th.
Germany is known for three things: good beer, fast cars, and a mythical place that's dark as night, straight as an arrow, where speed records and personal bests are meant to be broken – or zee Autobahn, the country's system of seemingly speed-limit-free federal highways. Here are 16 things you should know about it.
Less than two hours north of San Francisco, this chilled-out county is a world away. Here, where to take it all in.
Get Outdoors: Overlooking a rocky sweep of the Pacific Ocean, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens(Fort Bragg) is home to 150 species of birds (ash-throated flycatchers; savannah sparrows) and rhododendrons that thrive in the foggy air.