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Ambitious newbie seeks all sorts of advice

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  • Ambitious newbie seeks all sorts of advice

    It's great to see so many people who are thinking a bit out of the box. In 10 years, everyone will take for granted their carputer that does all the thinking for them, but you guys and girls are doing it now. Cool.

    Right now I am just planning this stuff out and buying random parts that I will install in my new project car, a Miata. Yes, I know they are little girlie cars, but not when you drop a turbocharged Ford V-8 into them. Then you have the Shelby Cobra of our era, able to lay rubber in every gear, and smoke just about any car known to man, including Ferraris and Porsches and anything else you can think of. But I'm not just about muscle, I want some brains in my car too. Hence the car computer, and here is a list of the features I want to incorparate into it.

    Music playback- Duh. I have about 1000 CD's, and I don't think I could actually fit all the jewel boxes into a Miata without removing the engine, which sort of ruins the whole point of having a car. So yeah, I will be spending many hours ripping files.

    Wi-fi- Also duh. It makes much more sense to pull into your garage and link up with a server than to ferry discs out to your car.

    Navigation- Also also duh. I live in Hawaii, where the road systems were apparently laid out by either the Marquis de Sade or Tommy Chong, I'm not sure which. If I could actually find an onramp in downtown Honolulu, the system would more than pay for itself.

    DVD playback- So my passengers have something to take their mind off of the fact that at any given moment that I am driving, I tend to violate 7 or 8 different traffic laws at the same time. Also good for traffic jams on H-1.

    Radar detector intregration- see above.

    Voice recognition- Yes, I know this is a touchy subject, especially in a convertible, but I think it can be done. My friend and I have started throwing around ideas for a natural language system, but it is kinda hard to work together since me and him are on different boats with different schedules.

    Cell phone integration- So I can do 35 in the fast lane while I try to talk to me ma.

    Cell modem- So my passengers can fill out online will forms while I drive.

    Engine management- Besides the standard OBD-II stuff, I would like to be able to mess with the ECU while I'm on the dyno. Boost control is also an issue.

    Remote control- If I could roll up my windows from anywhere on the Earth, that would be way cool. Also ends the locked my keys in the car issue.

    Looking good- I have seen far too many cars, especially those little imports, with way too many gauges hanging off of every surface in the car. A well thought out display of all the pertinent data would be tre chic, eliminate all those siily pods all over my dash, and I could even log the data for later analysis at track days.

    Well, that's about it. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, I want it all to work as an integrated unit, never crash, and it better boot in less than 20 seconds. Not much to ask, right? I have a lot of ideas about how to make this work, but I am much better at the hardware part, and not so good at the software. I am slowly learning more, but I know most of you are probably better at it than I am, so I will just mooch off your experience and hopefully learn something. So I implore you to post, and shoot me down in flames, and grind my dreams under the bootheel of your knowledge, and tell me everything that is wrong with what I want to do, so that I can figure out a way to do it. Also, I apologize in advance for not responding promptly, but my work schedule sucks as it is, and sucks even more so when I have to disappear under the waves for a few months.

    So yeah, that about wraps it up. I really don't think any one single feature is too hard to implement, as I have seen most of them done before, but I don't think I've ever seen all of them in one car. As near as I can tell, this would be the state of the art, the best we can do with what we have, and I know someone out there has probably beat me to the punch, but I still have to do it. Any and all comments, criticisms, suggestions, tips, or in-depth howto's are greatly appreciated. You can contact me at [email protected] or [email protected] or AIM me with SN kerowhack.
    I'm working on it, OK? If you want me to go faster, then buy me something.... like a 500 HP Ford 347 stroker...

    "Jackyl, jackyl... is it a jackyl? It's a jackyl!!! ummm, jackyl, JACKYL!!!"

  • #2
    Ok, this can be done. Every single thing you mention is possible with a PC (except perhaps the radar thingy - which is getting more interesting here in Holland too ). Problem is that you'll need an operator to work with the system while you are driving, because all this is not yet available as an integrated one-looks package right now [AFAIK].
    Of course lots of people are working on this including myself, problem is that we (developers) all have two things in common; too little time and too much to do. Add to that the fact that Car computing is mostly for fun... Perhaps next year or so... Or the year after that...

    white bream
    working on a trilogy: CARGO - UNIGO - MERGO
    CARGO = the Car Computer
    Intel Celeron M, [P]SDC, uBlox GPS, GPRS, WLAN, Silabs FM, RDS, TMC,
    Dual-audio, Onecable TFT, Microsize: 45 x 108 x 168mm (1.8 x 4.3 x 6.6")