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Thread: future of pc based custom built solutions

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    future of pc based custom built solutions

    hi all

    i want to start this topic to see what you think.

    i am now for 4 years trying with custom built car pc solutions - built 3 solutions in two cars and tried several software projects (paid and open source) and i am coming to the conclusion that the idea of custom built car pc solutions is a dead end. i don't see real progress - nor in compact, energy efficient and all-in-one hardware solutions, nor in software.

    hardware boards are still mini/micro/green pc based solutions not designed for car environment (12 volt with spike, startup/shutdown, standby, temperature, cabling, high quality audio etc. etc.). still to many separate usb devices necessary (digital tv, soundcard, gps, touchpads, bluetooth, wifi etc.) no good quality non-reflective affordable touchscreens, etc. no button based input devices (such as i-drive in bmw's) etc.

    software is still not integrated, important functions in a car environment such as bluetooth connectivity with mobile, speech recognition, state of the art gps navigation software (a gps mouse costs more than an end user device with sopistacated software, maps etc.) etc are missing

    why doe the oem's not go with pc solutions. going to multimedia shops i still see those dvd din players and separate gps. and the oems still have those sluggish but expensive properietary solutions.

    what is your opinion?

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    You're right in many respects, although there certainly is progress on the software front.

    There are a few good (but standalone) frontends, but progress in that area from Fluxmedia - we can only speculate as to what their future plans are, but, looking at Flux's website, it seems the newer version might support (as a component possibly) win XP Embedded, which, as you know, can be tailored to any hardware natively supporting std XP Pro.

    From a hardware perspective, what we really need, is simply a small form-factor (3.5" and smaller) motherboard, with say 4 mini pci-express slots, and then decent pci-express CANbus cards with J2534 open api supprt, or, better still, this can be integrated, with bluetooth, and a few other things, onto the base board.

    So, I know you can already buy CANbus pci-express modules, but, not J2534 supported, and then the frontends needs to get away from the generic-only PID support dongles, and develope frontends with th idea that we can use high-end PID supported units....

    Do this make sense.....

    But your observation is pretty much accurate...

    Have a looky at what Kevin000 and his team is doing with a customized/integrated Linux frontend - very promissing....
    F6 Tornado Project Log ; HP Blackbird Watercooled Server

    Beta Tester for Centrafuse and 3dConnexion (No business affiliation with either)

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate Crinos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Kristiansand, Norway
    Just to throw in a few words here..

    BMW have signed a contract with Intel about developing the Intel Atom platform for use in future BMW's

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate 84RegalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    San Diego
    I live in today so thats why i have a car pc.

    only thing that will always make the "oems" suck is that stuff will be locked out and it wont be able to add anything like you can with a pc. I can make a car dance/play music/ and talk to me with a pc, cant with anything else.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Calgary, Alberta
    I remember when my parents paid $1400 for their VCR which weighs about 65 pounds. You couldn't sell a high end VCR now for $5, hardware will continue to evolve and get cheaper.

    And the reason for the proprietary software on all the DIN hardware sold at the electronics stores is because of research and design. A company researches what the latest and greatest technology is, then puts together a team to create a solution with that technology which could take anywhere from 1-3 years. So by the time it's first released, it's already 3 year old technology. Then they might be making money on each unit above the production cost but they have to recover all the money spent on the initial research and design of the product which is often millions of dollars. So they continue to milk the consumer for as long as they can on this one idea until they're forced to spend more money developing a new idea.

    It's like cellular phones, why are they so terrible? Why can't I SSH or VPN into my server from my Blackberry or even access the ActiveX controls on banking websites? Proprietary software takes forever to design and therefore hangs around the market forever to recover the costs.
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