Best Automotive Apps

It is kind of crazy to comprehend the amount of smart phone applications there are out there and how much they really make our lives more convenient and interconnected. Efficiency is key these days and phone applications only help maximize on time sensitive things we need to get done and the errands we need to run. It didn’t take much time for the automotive industry to catch on that it could really drive consumer patterns towards a specific product or auto related service if it reach out to them via a phone application. Today there are thousands of automotive applications that can be accessed on your phone. We’ll explore some of them in depth further below and give you examples of how you might find them to be useful.

Best Automotive Apps
Best Automotive Apps

We all have been on the road, with the gas light on, wondering if we’ll make it to the nearest gas station. Now, you can ease some of your worries if you download a gas application that tells you where the nearest gas stations are, where you can get the cheapest gas within your area, and even directions to the gas station once you’ve selected your choice. Instantly, the route and estimated driving time, and other information about the gas station will be made available on your phone. If you’re wondering if the gas station will have specific amenities, like car washes, air, ATM and convenience store, that is also an option on some applications. This app makes life so much easier!

Next, we recommend an application that will help you out immensely when it comes to repairs and maintenance on your car. Imagine being able to quickly get a repair estimate without having to drive around town to sketchy car and body shops. Here, you can find a mechanic or body shop close by and get their independent quotes. You can even start searching according to the service that you need to get done – from brakes, to battery replacement, to oil changes and extreme body work. A rating system will even guide you towards a reliable service provider too.

Lastly, an app designed to help you improve your driving skills and techniques are here. It has a lot of tutorials like parallel parking tips and instructions, and also an official driver’s handbook so you can look up confusing driving regulations. It’s an engaging and user-friendly guide to help you become a safer driver.

Leasing a car is also becoming more popular. You can download an app that will connect you to the nearest car leasing provider, and also compare some crucial car loan quotes from multiple providers. Getting a car loan has never been easier with this app and is worth the download if you’re considering leasing a car instead of buying and want to have lots of options without doing all the dirty research on your own. You can search by credit levels, costs, quote, type of car you would like lease, and other things like monthly payment.

The Driver Makes the Car

Call it what you will: an effective marketing model or consumer-centric branding; cars are defined by the people who drive them. It may be a bit of a chicken-and-egg conundrum figuring out which came first, the discursive image of the ideal car owner or the loyal car lovers themselves. Regardless, the relationship between cars and the people who love, own or hope to own them is an intimate one – a relationship built around the sheer euphoric act of driving.

Aston Martin DB5 and 007 - A Special Bond | Licence To Thrill

Video: Aston Martin.

One need look no further for proof than history’s most famous car – James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. The DB5 has captured the hearts of many a car lover since its debut in 1963, not least because its Agent 007 who’s behind the wheel, but also because of what it means to drive it. Between chasing down villains along winding cobbled streets and silently speeding off from one city to the next in the dead of night as international spies do – the movies only show off what the car was built to do: work like a beast.

Daniel Craig's Bond manoeuvres an aggressive turn in the DB5 in No Time to Die. Photo: Danjaq LLC, Universal, MGMDaniel Craig’s Bond manoeuvres an aggressive turn in the DB5 in No Time to Die, 2021. Photo: Danjaq LLC, Universal, MGM.

One of the fastest cars in the world at the time, the DB5 featured a 4.0 litre naturally-aspirated straight-six producing 282bhp and 380Nm, all that power sent through a five-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels. Cornering in the DB5 lies just a step shy of being hardcore, though the heavier the steering is on such cars, the less input is needed mid-turn. The engine however more than makes up for it with its smooth, graceful ride at enormous velocities, living up to the DB5’s status as a grand tourer. Even modern GTs with their sophisticated suspension geometry and adaptive damping would struggle to match this senior in ride softness.

James Bond puts the DB5 to good use in Thunderball.
photo © United Artists, Danjaq LLCSean Connery’s Bond cruising along the countryside in the DB5 in Thunderball, 1965. Photo: United Artists, Danjaq LLC.

At the car’s helm is a more than well-tuned cushy leather seat which sets the driver up for extra visibility, along with a generously-sized tactile wooden steering wheel paired with a comfortingly delicate gear knob, fitted for your driving pleasure. The pedals have also been known to be so skinny that the driver would feel clumsy in everyday sneakers, almost as if demanding you to suit up in a pair of well-shined oxfords. The wind noise over the front wings due to the lack of soundproofing is almost welcome, a reminder to the driver that they are already shifting into serious speed.

Inside a preserved 1960s DB5. Photo: Car, UK.Inside a preserved 1960s DB5. Photo: Car, UK.

The dainty gear knob inside the DB5. Photo: Car, UK.The dainty gear knob of the original DB5. Photo: Car, UK.

The DB5 was discontinued in 1965 but received a special limited re-production of 25 units in 2020 to match the release of the last Daniel Craig Bond film, No Time to Die – a testament not just to its enshrined place in motoring history as the Agent 007 car, but also to the love of cars that were meant to be learnt, almost struggled with and finally, masterfully driven. The 2020 DB5 goes for a hefty price of 3.6 million USD. With such an iconic name as the DB5 at the centre of luxury motoring, could one bear a switch to self-driving cars? Without James Bond skilfully in the driver’s seat, the iconic DB5 seems to lose a huge chunk of what makes it so beloved.

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger continuation. Photo: Aston MartinThe Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger continuation, 2020. Photo: Aston Martin

Is There Room for Self-driving Cars in Luxury Motoring?

The word “automobile” entered the English lexicon from French in the late 18th century, a compound of the Ancient Greek autós (αὐτός) which means “self” and the Latin mobilis which means “movable”. Originally referencing how manmade vehicles transitioned from relying on external sources of power, such as horses, to being powered by their own engines, it seems ironic now that the word foreshadowed in itself the advent of truly “self-driving” vehicles.

Self-driving vehicles are becoming more and more of a reality in the automobile industry today. To qualify as fully autonomous, a self-driving vehicle must be able to both chart a path from point A to B and navigate the route by itself safely, free from human intervention. Currently, these works-in-progress rely on a combination of sensors which read the external environment (i.e. cameras, radar, lidar etc.) and artificial intelligence (AI) to make sense of the feedback to do so.

Companies developing self-driving cars range from Audi to Google, though Google’s Waymo in partnership with Lyft has already launched their own fully autonomous commercial ride-sharing service, Waymo One. The service is ongoing testing but is currently available in the US cities of Phoenix, San Francisco and soon, Los Angeles.

Steve Mahan, former director of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, stands beside a Waymo self-driving car Tuesday in San Francisco.
Steve Mahan, former director of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, stands beside a Waymo self-driving car Tuesday in San Francisco   Photo: Eric Risberg/ Associated Press.

The tech race to make cars self-driving is very much in line with the rise of Web3 and Big Data, where data is not only decentralised but also harnessed to power machine learning and AI – the digitisation of manual processes into automatic ones and the further obscuring of layers and layers of hardware into smooth, clean surfaces which operate multitudes of softwares seamlessly through a touch of a finger.

Self-driving cars are nothing short of a technological wonder, but at the same time, they problematise the definition of what makes a good car. Sustainability, road safety, and comfort are aspects of car-making all car makers aim to excel in. Yet, the removal of the driver themselves seems to transform the car into a whole other beast. Perhaps then, the question we should be asking in the world of luxury motoring is not what makes a good car, but what makes a beloved car.

Sean Connery with the Aston Martin DB5 on Stoke Poges during the filming of Goldfinger
Sean Connery with the Aston Martin DB5 in Stoke Poges during the filming of Goldfinger, 1964.