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Five Apps that Could Change the Way You Drive

image1You may use your smartphone as a GPS device or to research your destination, but have you thought about using it to help you become a better driver? There’s a host of mobile apps that can help you monitor your speed, improve your efficiency, and enjoy a smoother ride. Apps connected to electric vehicles can also help you track your charging levels and control your car, to prevent running out of power for a more economical ride. Whether you’re interested in going electric or simply improving your efficiency in a conventional vehicle, the following five apps can help improve your driving style.

1. GM’s OnStar Mobile App

Are you thinking of switching to an electric vehicle from General Motors? This GM app is available for Android, Blackberry, and iPhone, allowing you to track battery power for the Chevrolet Volt and sending you an alert when it’s time to recharge. It lets you know when and where you can access energy at off-peak hours, helping you save money behind the wheel. In addition to these features that specifically are available for electric cars, the Onstar Mobile app also allows you to lock your doors remotely, control the car’s climate, and operate the infotainment system in any GM vehicle.

2. Waze

Do you spend what feels like hours stuck in traffic during your commute? Whether it’s actually hours or minutes, don’t waste any more time. The Waze app can help you become a better driver by telling you when there’s a traffic jam nearby, so that you can avoid it. It uses crowd-sourced information from other Waze users to provide real-time traffic updates, so that you don’t have to burn any pointless fuel.

3. GreenMeter

Before you buy a car, you probably research all of your options using tools like the app from carsales.com.au. This allows you to compare different models in terms of engine power and mileage. Yet have you noticed that your car’s actual mileage varies quite a bit from what’s reported in these reviews? If so, the GreenMeter app can help you improve your mileage. It gives you readouts of your own driving style, using your iPhone’s accelerometer sensors. Using tools like engine power, aerodynamic drag, and rolling resistance, it will help you determine how to adjust your brake and accelerator usage to maximise your car’s mileage potential.

4. Nissan Leaf App for iPhone

Another app that comes as a built-in feature, the Nissan Leaf app is designed to help drivers of this all-electric car make the most of their battery use. It monitors the car’s battery life, as well as how long they have to recharge it and what the cost will be. Like the GM app, owners can control the Leaf’s internal temperature and other features remotely.

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5. My Max Speed

Do you have a heavy foot on the accelerator? Keep a closer eye on your actual speed with this app for Android. It uses the accelerometer built into your phone to keep track of your speed and road location every 5 seconds. You can export this data into a spreadsheet to see if there are certain areas where you’re more prone to speeding, and adjust accordingly. The app’s also handy if you run into the law over a speeding ticket, because you’ll have an accurate log of your actual speed.

Whether you want to switch to an electric vehicle, curtail your speeding, or drive more efficiently, all five of these apps can help you become a better driver in some way.