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Thread: Tech in Audi A8 is 2 years ahead of the community

  1. #1
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    Tech in Audi A8 is 2 years ahead of the community

    I just listened to cnet's review of the Audi A8 and was blown away:

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-20014492-48.html

    One of the more advanced features of the car is the ability for the suspension system to get route+gps information from the headunit and adjust the suspension accordingly. I have yet to see a carpc system that's advanced enough and integrated enough to do that. So putting on my engineer hat, I started thing of what we need in software to be able to do something like that and ran into a few not-so-easy-to-solve problems. Of which problems leads me to believe we are a couple years behind these advanced features.

    The biggest problem is that current navigation APIs are limited. I could be wrong, but I don't know of any commercial or open navigation product that allows you to get information on "the next turn" with or without an actual route set. Maybe I can be proven wrong on the windows side. I know Linux has no such concept at the moment in any apps that I know of.

    The qt-mobility location API's (which are cross-platform) help, but that's just a start. With these API's we can figure out what road we are on, the direction, and possibly grab the next turn. Then we can use something like nobdy to get data and do things contextually to the vehicle via the CAN bus. To illustrate:

    [Qt-location backend service] => [nobdy plugin] => nobdy => suspension ecu.

    In time, this is possible, but it's not very generic as each vehicle has a different protocol it speaks for adjusting the suspension (if it even supports it at all). All this leads me to believe that without intimate knowledge of the car, we'll always be behind as it's trivial for manufacturers to deliver these kinda of features on cars where they already have intimate knowledge from the bottom up.

    Are we going to be playing catchup from here on out? Are there other areas we can innovate in?
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    where in the linked review does it mention the navigation <-> suspension link? I couldn't find it....but then again I was skimming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post
    where in the linked review does it mention the navigation <-> suspension link? I couldn't find it....but then again I was skimming.
    You actually need to go to the full video review which is linked from that page.
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    I think when you're talking about car devices such as suspension and brakes reacting to some infotainment events, you're never going to be as advanced as these guys as no one here has the means to make a safe robust system through proper testing.

    I think we mainly innovate infotainment here, but hack OEM devices to utilise them more or better. For instance, some BMW's lights can change the angle as you go around a bend, and they go up/down when you're going over a big hill to ensure max lighting over the road ahead. This means the light is omnidirectional and this can be controlled if hacked. Now we enter and probably find that control, connect it up to a motion based camera, and turn the lights on to scare an intruder... (I just thought of this... hmmm!)


    Pretty damn cool system on the A8 though

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    I'm going to add this link to this thread, if you don't mind - I came across it this weekend. It shows off some of the other OEM systems coming out either now or soon.

    I was trying to figure if it was news or not - it seems that most of my posts lately have been about features the OEMs are working on. Does this kind of thing interest people, or should I go looking around for more lower level stuff?

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    i am interested in most of it. out of habit, i very rarely look to the oem's any more after so many years of the only their infotainment options being only am/fm/cd..

    it is sometimes nice to see how close they are to actually adding carpc's...

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    i am interested in most of it. out of habit, i very rarely look to the oem's any more after so many years of the only their infotainment options being only am/fm/cd..

    it is sometimes nice to see how close they are to actually adding carpc's...
    They might be close, but once they do there won't be anything unique or special about what we do, because everyone will have one, kind of like those of us who were building automotive mp3 players back in the 90's, the nice thing about it is the fact we will all have to stay one step ahead of the game, creating new and exciting toys and gadgets for our rides in the future, I'm interested to see how things are going to be 10 years from now

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    Quote Originally Posted by tripzero View Post
    I just listened to cnet's review of the Audi A8 and was blown away:

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-20014492-48.html

    One of the more advanced features of the car is the ability for the suspension system to get route+gps information from the headunit and adjust the suspension accordingly. I have yet to see a carpc system that's advanced enough and integrated enough to do that.

    The biggest problem is that current navigation APIs are limited. I could be wrong, but I don't know of any commercial or open navigation product that allows you to get information on "the next turn" with or without an actual route set.
    AFAIK the new Infiniti NAV and Cruise control engine for the 2009 FX35/50 had something like that. Not only it would stop the car to the standing still in heavy traffic, and accelerate back again, but also the cruise control would read the road ahead from the GPS/Nav data even if there was no route set, and it would adjust the speed accordingly (sharp turns or slow flowing turns). Same thing should be now on for the new M and QX.

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    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david69leonard View Post
    They might be close, but once they do there won't be anything unique or special about what we do
    I think to stay ahead in the game we should focus on hacking the OEM systems now. We had a lot of expertise hacking windows, PSUs, LCDs and USB devices. Now that part is solved.

    The next breakthrough will happen when somebody/some firm comes with something to greatly facilitate OEM BUS system understanding and hacking. Some kind of universal translator tool that you would hook up to the CAN BUS for any brand that you'd connect to the computer via bluetooth/USB and it would allow you to integrate steering wheel buttons, windows, send route info to the OEM nav, everything.

    A bit like the CARPC joy con, only it wouldn't read resistance, but it would read and write CAN BUS instructions and messages and it would allow us to manipulate them with a cool easy application that would talk to the front ends. That would be a dream device!

    Also I feel we don't trust/don't know much/don't like bluetooth devices as much as we could or should, but I think voice control of the car+carputer will be a great paradigm shift for the carputer scene. Most OEMs are also behind in the bluetooth integration dept. and maybe we could be using the spec to its full capacity...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RipplingHurst View Post
    AFAIK the new Infiniti NAV and Cruise control engine for the 2009 FX35/50 had something like that. Not only it would stop the car to the standing still in heavy traffic, and accelerate back again, but also the cruise control would read the road ahead from the GPS/Nav data even if there was no route set, and it would adjust the speed accordingly (sharp turns or slow flowing turns). Same thing should be now on for the new M and QX.
    Hmm...I had no idea it read information from the Nav system. The FXes equipped with the laser-guided cruise-control will measure the distance between the FX and the car in front of it and maintain the correct speed to keep a safe distance. I believe that same package includes the brake assist, which will hit the brakes for you if needed. Then again, that stuff isn't that new...I think Mercedes or Lexus did it first, and it seems like a lot of the luxury cars have it now.

    Quote Originally Posted by RipplingHurst View Post
    Also I feel we don't trust/don't know much/don't like bluetooth devices as much as we could or should, but I think voice control of the car+carputer will be a great paradigm shift for the carputer scene. Most OEMs are also behind in the bluetooth integration dept. and maybe we could be using the spec to its full capacity...
    I don't understand why we don't have more bluetooth phone integration solutions. It seems like everything we do have either doesn't work right all the time, is dead with no support, or only works with certain devices. The OEMs have managed to include integration that works with nearly every device, but the CarPC community can't do so. Even a hardware device paired with a software plugin for the front ends would be fine.

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