South Korea’s Hyundai Motor plans to dump cigarette lighters from its cars. Surprisingly, it’s among the first to break the habit completely. While most automakers offer car lighters as an optional package these days, the little cylindrical socket has stubbornly lived on as a 12 V receptacle, used for a variety of adapters to power everything from iPods to electric razors. Ashtrays, on the other hand, have disappeared almost entirely, making way for compartments to store sunglasses, gum and cellphones. So far, Hyundai’s lighter-free cars will only be sold in its home market, but there’s speculation the change will eventually be applied to foreign markets, too. In the receptacle’s place, Hyundai plans to equip its vehicles with a standard (and much more useful) USB port. Then the question will be: What’s worse for your health, smoking or driving while connected?
Kicking an old habit
Say goodbye to cigarette lighters in your car