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Anker Roav Dashtop Computer Will Make Any Car a Smart Car

Today's in-car technology offers some very nice features such as a head-up display, Internet connectivity or real-time traffic re-routing. The only problem is that these things usually come bundled together with a very expensive premium automobile, which not everyone can afford.
Anker Roav dashtop 10 photos
Photo: Roav
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Most people's solution to this is to buy a smartphone holder, connect their device to the car's audio system and use the mobile gadget for all infotainment functions. You have thousands of apps to choose from, and new ones are being created each day.

It's hard to compete with the plethora of options offered by the smartphones, but for all their complexity, they do come with a few drawbacks. First of all, they're not transparent. If you stick your phone on your windshield, you either place it too low so you'll have to take your eyes off the road, or too high and thus create a blind spot in your view range.

Then there's the fact you need to take the phone with you every time you get off the car, plus you will have to charge it every now and again, which means an unaesthetic cable will lying in front of your dashboard. A cable that, at some point, might even become a liability as you try to engage the reverse gear and get your hand tangled in.

Anker, a Californian company specializing in USB charging launched by a group of Google employees, looks to solve that problem. It has created a dashtop computer that doubles as a head-up display and offers a multitude of convenience features: navigation, live-traffic re-routing, live-traffic alerts, speed limit alerts, music streaming, calls, messages and notifications, trip statistics, mobile companion app, find my car.

The best thing about Roav is that it can be installed in any car, no matter how new or old, and will offer the same type of features. That's because it comes with a built-in 4G/Wi-Fi connectivity card, meaning it will stay connected to the internet on its own. It also has a dual-core processor and 32GB of internal memory, which makes it about as powerful as a mainstream smartphone.

Since the emphasis is put on safety on the road, the Roav comes with full voice control, meaning drivers will be able to do a lot of things (interact with the sat-nav, have texts read out loud) without taking their hands off the wheel.

The Anker Roav comes in two flavors, 4G or Wi-Fi, with pre-order prices of $299 and $399 respectively. The 4G version comes with a three-months unlimited data access from Verizon LTE, with a subsequent monthly subscription of $9.99. The Wi-Fi option allows drivers to use their smartphones as hotspots, or update the device at home and use it offline on the move (obviously, missing some of its features as they do so).

Anker promises the Roav Dahstop is just the first phase of the Roav Smart Driving System. Next summer, the company plans on releasing a set of dashcams that, unlike the now defunct comma.ai's product, will not make the car autonomous, but they will provide the driver with some assistance (lane departure, collision warning).

The Roav Dashtop is ready for pre-order at GoRoav.com.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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