Remember the eight-track? How about the cassette? In a few years, we might even be asking whether you remember the CD.

Technology is ever changing, and vehicle technology is no exception. The truth is that no technology will ever stand the test of time – it is a forever disruptive industry with an endless flow of innovation.

That innovation is precisely what’s to love about car technology well beyond the bells and whistles. Features like anti-lock brakes and airbags – not to mention seat belts – have actually stood the test of time and continue to be essential components of newer vehicles manufactured today. But when looking toward the future of in-cabin technology, things are ever changing.

A recent article at the New York Times (2/22/2015) points out that vehicle technologies have gone from sizzle to flop in just a matter of years. So when thinking about your next car purchase, look beyond the bells and whistles and focus on the technology where it matters more: safety!

Here’s the list of the most outdated car technologies according to the New York Times.


It wasn’t too long ago that we saw GPS systems installed in dashes and suctioned to windshields. These days, though, GPS systems have been replaced by smartphones equipped with mapping technology. Google Maps can be found on nearly any smartphone including Androids and iPhones so an in-dash system just seems clunky at this point. Plus, with outdated mapping systems, it’s always a safer bet to just go with the navigation system on your phone (which is updated frequently). Always use your phone wisely, though. Set your destination ahead of time and place your phone in the cup holder where you don’t have to fiddle with it when driving.


Apps are all the craze, aren’t they? There’s truly an app for anything. Auto makers have also jumped on that bandwagon with their own app versions ranging from Toyota’s Entune to Ford’s Mustang customizer app to Honda’s HondaLink app – and the list goes on. But consumers haven’t necessarily joined the craze when it comes to these types of apps. Instead, drivers have stuck with tried and true names like Pandora, Apple and Google when it comes to car-specific apps. The apps made by auto manufacturers seem to be on their way out.


The MP3 player… it was so quintessentially 90s! Now, the MP3 player is a thing of the past with smartphones disrupting the music player industry as well. Now, most people turn to Pandora or iHeartRadio apps for their music choices. Plus, smartphones host music, too, so there’s really no reason to invest in an MP3 player or worry if your vehicle is equipped with one. Simply connect your smartphone with the auxiliary plug and you should be good to go. Of course, be mindful of your data plan – that’s the only catch right now. To stream music, you have to have a data plan that supports your music listening habit. Some drivers have opted for satellite radio instead to make up for pricey data plans.


According to the New York Times, the reason that CD players are included in vehicles these days is simply because they’re cheap and their like an old shoe – there’s something comfortable about them. There’s really nothing on the market right now that replaces the in-dash CD player in mass production. Although Apple Play appears to be a frontrunner, the CD player still reigns supreme. It is the most common in-dash entertainment system to date. But, like all things, its days are numbered.


If you’re out buying a new vehicle, just remember: the bells and whistles will constantly be changing. Instead of focusing on the entertainment your car provides, switch gears and consider the safety features that reduce your risk of injury in the event of a car accident (or that aim to prevent car accidents altogether).

Look for:

  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Backup camera
  • Backup assist
  • Parking assist
  • Auto-braking technology
  • Lane departure technology
  • Electronic stability control
  • Forward collision control

About Michael Pines

Michael Pines, personal injury attorney, is an advocate for consumer safety. He is the founder of Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. located in San Diego, California. The firm handles cases around the nation and we can help you, too, no matter where you are located. As San Diego’s most trusted personal injury law firm, we are the preferred choice for car accident representation. Give us a call today at 1-858-551-2090 for a FREE consultation. Call now.