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Stirring the Pot

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  • Stirring the Pot

    Okay, so I just got done watching the 30 minute video showing off all the awesome features that the Tesla pulls off very well. As I sat there and watched I thought to myself, why cant we do that. Well, we can. And some have. But most of them are custom hack jobs that are very difficult for another person to replicate. Dont get me wrong, I am always amazed by the beautiful installs that I have seen in my 5 years on this forum, but I want to make it easier for the masses to do. As of this writing we have 195,113 members, between the 195 thousand of us, you would think that we would have come up with a better solution by now.

    Now before you get all ****ed at me and start ripping into me, hear me out. Back when I got in this game in 2009 the technology that we wanted to implement was either expensive or non-existent. The iphone was less than 2 years old, Android had barely shown up on the scene and we were just released from the evils of Vista with Windows 7. In the last few years technology has grown by leaps and bounds to the point where I think we can create a easy (some skills required) platform for people to customize and inject technology into their own vehicles for a very low price.

    So here is my proposal: we unite and create a Open Standard for car computing and control. With hardware such as the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi and open source software such as Android we are at an incredible crossroads of technology to really make this happen. What I am talking about is taking the mp3Car community to the next level, together. Through this forum we have access to some amazing minds to create amazing things.

    What we need to do:

    First: work together. No one person is going to make this happen. We should purpose to tackle this project not to make ourselves rich, or to make a name for us as individuals, but instead work closely with each other to design software and hardware that works well together.

    Second: we need to make a plan. We need to come up with a strategic roadmap that will allow us to reach our goal of creating a modular, open hardware/software platform for the masses.

    Third: we need to execute that plan.

    I have an idea of where to take this thing, and I would love to talk to the great minds here and see where we really can take this thing.
    My hope is that one day, someone can visit this forum, look up their car, and find detailed instructions and hardware lists to make what they want to work, work in their vehicle. Instructions on how to build relay modules, where to tie in the wiring, a mobile operating system to flash to the brain, firmware for hardware.

    Okay, I am done now. I welcome your feedback, I really hope people are willing to tackle this with me.
    - Project: Unified Car Control
    - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

  • #2
    Great write up , I totally agree on this.

    The power in a modular system is much greater than some think.

    I believe on the hardware side of things it would be easy enough to create modules for certain purposes, some of us here already have that going , being it for personal or very low group use.

    Software would be much harder , some prefer windows other mac , and then we have android tablets on the rise.

    If we, as a community can agree on a standard we can start development.

    It would be so much easier for so many people if you decide you want a certain functionality, to look up the hardware , buy it or built it , and have a module for the general front end ready for download.

    Development of plug ins would be much more, as there would be only one front end to develop for , same as support , more mind on the same thing in stead of on several different front ends.


    Am I close to what you have in your mind ?
    View my worklog here

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    • #3
      Originally posted by eugenweij View Post
      Am I close to what you have in your mind ?
      Thank you!

      You are spot on, pretty much to a T. I would like to see one software platform used, more than likely linux based to do open source and good support of hardware such as the Pi.
      - Project: Unified Car Control
      - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

      Comment


      • #4
        indeed, linux is much better to use in terms of open source , but what will be an issue for the less experienced carpc enthusiasts is the way you have to work with linux , its different , maybe even hard in some aspects.

        Now my linux skills are low, I played with it a few times but havent really looked at it lately.

        Other difficulty is that some hardware manufacturers don't have linux support.

        that I experienced with my mobo
        View my worklog here

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        • #5
          Originally posted by eugenweij View Post
          indeed, linux is much better to use in terms of open source , but what will be an issue for the less experienced carpc enthusiasts is the way you have to work with linux , its different , maybe even hard in some aspects.

          Now my linux skills are low, I played with it a few times but havent really looked at it lately.

          Other difficulty is that some hardware manufacturers don't have linux support.

          that I experienced with my mobo
          That is where the programmers will have to step in to make sure things work.

          Limiting the hardware it runs on will be a huge factor in making sure if functions properly.

          Linux has come a long way as well in the last few years, and with Ubuntu's push into mobile computing I think things will only become easier as we move forward.

          As far as the hardware is concerned I am thinking this will be a Pi based system, with Arduino units for system integration.

          Starting small and narrow will allow you to establish how this is going to work, and then branch out over time when you have a proven concept.
          - Project: Unified Car Control
          - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

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          • #6
            that is true , and Pi is very nice , possibly an odroid board
            View my worklog here

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            • #7
              I think this upcoming arduino will help this project along very well: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoYUN
              - Project: Unified Car Control
              - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't know if it his just a uneducated hunch, but a problem I see in standardizing anything other than Windows is a lack of automotive people that know how to program for the other systems. A part of the ODROID build blog was to kind of inspire developers to come out of the woods and while there's definite interest in the ODROID as a product, there's no one speaking up to help expand on its android roots.

                I wonder if mp3Car could sponsor a community developer challenge a la' what Centrafuse did a few years back. Something to inspire developers from this community and other message boards to create solutions or even ideas which we can build upon.

                I've been around long enough to remember front ends in their infancy, and how just a few guys who knew what they were doing inspired other people (like me) to learn the programming and aid in creating programs that helped flesh out core features. It would be awesome to reignite that with Android or some other evolving open source system.

                Thank you for this topic! I'm interested in hearing from others on the matter as well.
                mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
                Follow Me on Twitter or Facebook
                Live mp3Car Facebook Chat

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
                  I don't know if it his just a uneducated hunch, but a problem I see in standardizing anything other than Windows is a lack of automotive people that know how to program for the other systems. A part of the ODROID build blog was to kind of inspire developers to come out of the woods and while there's definite interest in the ODROID as a product, there's no one speaking up to help expand on its android roots.

                  I wonder if mp3Car could sponsor a community developer challenge a la' what Centrafuse did a few years back. Something to inspire developers from this community and other message boards to create solutions or even ideas which we can build upon.

                  I've been around long enough to remember front ends in their infancy, and how just a few guys who knew what they were doing inspired other people (like me) to learn the programming and aid in creating programs that helped flesh out core features. It would be awesome to reignite that with Android or some other evolving open source system.

                  Thank you for this topic! I'm interested in hearing from others on the matter as well.
                  I would love to see this happen, I am having a conference call with a CANBUS developer next Tuesday to get his thoughts, he is very interested in the idea and wants to help. We just need to find the right people both inside and outside this forum.

                  Hopefully we can get this going, get some mp3Car.com support and run with this.

                  I just posted my overall vision here: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/gene...r-control.html
                  - Project: Unified Car Control
                  - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am totally not knowing, but is there a common base that a system can be built on that would run on the users own choice of OS? Just curious. It may not be efficient. Something like Java that runs on Windows, Linux/Mac. Is there one for Pi? Android is already Java/Linux is it not?
                    03 Cadillac CTS
                    ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E 2.5ghz Core i3 2GB 160GB SSD
                    Win7 Ultimate - OpenMobile - Directed HD - Wifi
                    OMMaps + MS GPS Puck - WiFi via LTE Android phone
                    2 Zones - Matrix Orbital LCD - Arduino - Build Pics

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jmullan99 View Post
                      I am totally not knowing, but is there a common base that a system can be built on that would run on the users own choice of OS? Just curious. It may not be efficient. Something like Java that runs on Windows, Linux/Mac. Is there one for Pi? Android is already Java/Linux is it not?
                      I'm sure there is, hopefully we can hash that out first based on the overall system requirements.
                      - Project: Unified Car Control
                      - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The start of this project has been moved to a new thread:

                        http://www.mp3car.com/general-mp3car...r-control.html

                        Come join us!
                        - Project: Unified Car Control
                        - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Actually for such a project you want to use HTML5. It is the direction everything is moving towards and will run on virtually every device. I have not looked into it much myself yet but Web based applications is the future and HTML5 is designed to provide the technology needed to do it all.

                          So in essence any device with a browser should be able to access an HTML5 application. Much more secure than Java.

                          I haven't researched this yet but my guess is that with HTML5 you can build a web server machine that pulls the information from all of the systems and provides them via the web server. This will allow you to then access the web server with any device.

                          So as an example, lets setup a Pi with a web server and hook it to a Fusion Brain and an ODBII device to pull the information it needs. Since it is just an information server it shouldn't take much in the way of resources and can be continuously running since it is very low powered. Now you can use conventional web access to pull up the information on your car and interact with the vehicle via an interactive web page. You could setup the server to provide different content to different devices dependent on their IP addresses or by the webpage called.

                          Yes if you didn't pick up on it... You can have multiple screens doing different things... Install tablets in the rear running android and access your data fine. Your PC then accesses the host and can do stuff as well or your phone... If you want to have access to other hardware you could setup the server to provide services if available so you could do all sorts of things easily.

                          So yes, HTML5 is the way to go for the frontend... Could be driven by Linux or PC...

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                          • #14
                            I am hesitant to use HTML for a front end only because I have not seen any really good implementations in the past. I'm not ruling it out, just want a better idea of how it will work in the long run. I can see it used as an auxiliary control but not the front end in front of the driver.

                            I am thinking the server side will have some sort of an API where the front end would do a query for information, or the server can push notifications to the FE. We would also have to code how various sensors talk and share information with the server software.

                            Keep in mind I am by no means a programmer, mostly a tinkerer, idea man and interface design, so I will defer.
                            - Project: Unified Car Control
                            - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer

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                            • #15
                              Interesting project.. up until I read Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Android. My first carpc was Android. It could do a lot, except sound quality sucked then without USB DAC support, and indexing more than 50 MP3's took forever and you could not use this format or that, and OH, you cant just plug any USB device into it.

                              The main feature is to be able to play music in any format from a large local storage device, and not have to wait for indexing of songs. Bells and whistles are a must too.

                              So I moved to Windows, and it seems to do ALMOST everything. It's also the easiest, since Windows is about 20 years old. If I can plug it into a Windows PC, i'm happy.

                              Average guys can assemble a PC, setup networks, and install devices of any sort as long as it has drivers, and load softwares, but to do all those same things on Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Android, are NOT intuitive, rather cryptic compiler hexadecimal assembly language voodoo bull$#!t, that scares all but the most 1337 h4x0rz from cult of the dead cow.

                              That said, please keep the above paragraph in mind when starting your project.

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