Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Project

I have a vision for the Hondat (our 2001 Honda Accord, yes I know, original name). I see a GPS guidance system, voice activated environmental controls, and engine stats. I see digital maintenance logs, gigabytes of media, and integrated hands-free over bluetooth. I see...a carputer.

I am starting down the long (and potentially expensive) path of designing, installing, and implementing a custom carputer.  I plan on using this blog not only to share my adventures, but to help organize all my ideas.  Thus begins the feature list:

  • 7" Touchscreen interface

  • Additional 4.5" LCD monitor

  • Micro-ATX form factor for the computer

  • Bluetooth

  • GPS integration

  • Media player (mp3, mpeg, jpeg, etc...)

  • Engine stats via OBDII

  • Engine diagnostics

  • Maintenance Log with reminders

  • Digital Environmental Controls

  • Voice activated controls

  • Trip logs

All this will be integrated into one slick interface.

Other low-priority possibilities include:

  • Door lock and trunk control

  • Bluetooth auto-unlocking from phone application

  • Window control

  • External sensors (ie. weather sensors, IR, tire pressure, etc...)

  • External Cameras, automatically engaged with reverse

  • Wifi

  • Car Alarm

  • Customized profiles based on driver with some sort of auto recognition (keyed fobs, voice recognition, something...)

I know there is software already out there that does all of this, but I'm looking at this as a learning tool and an exciting hobby.  I plan on using quite a bit of third party components, but I want to integrate them all myself.  I plan on this all being based off of a Linux OS.  Probably something like LFS so I am aware of every package installed on the system.

So here is the first draft of my carputer requirements.  I will most likely be editing this page as new ideas pop into my head, or initial ideas are refined.  I will also be using the tag system to expand on my adventures with each feature.  OBDII will be first up on that list, since I already have an OBDII to USB connector, compliments of Sean (thanks for the birthday present!).


scott said...

Sounds fun. My one suggestion is to ditch the idea of using LFS because your going to have to spend a lot of time working on the OS and custom compiling everything when you could spending the time hacking the components together and on the interface/controls. Most likely you could start with one of the main distros and will encounter less problems than if you built it with LFS. If you do end up needing more control of the OS or any custom compile or configure flags you could go with gentoo, which is perfect for that stuff.

cthrax said...

I had been thinking about Gentoo as well. For development I plan on using Ubuntu or some other no brainer.