The death of the car pc
Listen...did you just hear that? Chances are you didn't because you're too focused on getting a stable install of your car PC to work. If you'd been listening, you would have heard the sound of OEM's blowing by with new in car products that are exploring new paradigms for the future that our community has traditionally shunned.
This time around, there's real innovation at CES in the automotive world. We've talked about the idea of a mobile ecosystem that travels with you from house to car to mobile device. The OEM's are building it now.
We've talked about reference platforms or generic hardware boxes that could be used in a wide variety of automobiles. The OEM's are building it now.
We've talked about the connected car concept and how data and processing off the car's cpu can enhance and improve the driver's experience. The OEM's are building it now.
We've talked about the idea of low or zero configuration apps that make it easy to add to your capabilities and expand the usefulness of your car PC while making it simpler to install and run. The OEM's are building that now.
I'm going to call time of death as January, 2011 for the car PC. The patient doesn't yet know it is dead, probably because there was a rr.ini config error.
You may be right, but I believe the desire to build a carpc will continue but for a smaller group. These new devices will eliminate the desire to build a pc for the people that don't really enjoy fabrication and manipulating technology. This is the group that usually struggles through the build / setup process and doesn't really "enjoy the ride" just to get the use of the end result product. If they could buy something that does 70% or 80% of what they want, they would buy OEM.
I still have to wonder how much liability the OE's are willing to assume to let us "play" while we are driving.
We also know that it is very rare to get an OE to offer true "high performance" electronics. They offer quality & durability but not high performance. What most OE's call a "audiophile system" is a joke compared to after market. They brand the stuff with Bose, Pioneer, Harmon Kardon, etc. but the system seldom if ever measures up to even a mediocre aftermarket system.
Time will tell though!!
Those two things are key.
Originally Posted by PhilG
Whatever the wisdom of playing with your carpc while driving, there are those who want that freedom, and don't want restrictions from the manufacturer.
And the point about the aftermarket is key, as well. you can spend 10k+ in options on your car, and you will still not get as good a sound system as 3k will get you on the aftermarket.
Nice line about the rr.ini, though, made me laugh.
I do think the connected car is going to become a mainstream feature in vehicles over the next few years. However, just as PCs are today, there will always be communities like this one that will always be interested in modifying and improving the technologies. Just as how you buy a PC today that never does everything you want it to do, without changing out some hardware and software, I think the same will go for our cars. I may no longer get the, "what is that?" question when people get in my car anymore when everyone has one in their car, but I can say that I built it......for $500 :).
For me it's mainly a hobby, and not just because I wanted functionality that wasn't there in a stock unit. I'm constantly tearing things apart, playing with different front ends, hardware, etc just because I enjoy doing so. It's like amateur/ham radio - technologically there's not much of a need for it since everyone has cellular phones, but there is still a big following because it's something people enjoy doing.
Also, car technology is rarely on the cutting edge and people tend to want things right away. There will always be something new that people want but car manufacturers will be inevitably slow to deploy. When they do deploy it, they also tend to limit or restrict it is as mentioned above, and charge a lot for it upfront (we never think much of it since it's rolled into the overall cost of the car) and whenever possible, on a recurring basis. Certainly a lot of car buyers aren't techno geeks, and aren't going to tear their car apart to install a carpc, and will will be willing to pay to have the functionality, but I'm not terribly motivated to pay $10/$20/$30 etc a month to use a feature that I can use today without paying a monthly fee to use it.
The target audience of these sites and who's buying the products may evolve, but personally I think we'll be around for quite a while. The main challenge will be as manufacturers drop din/double din standards for fully integrated systems, but that doesn't seem to be stopping a lot of people today. We're also going to become more demanding in what we're looking for so I'm personally excited to see the technology we develop to stay ahead of the mainstream.
Oh its that time of year again....
the "the carPC is dead...stock head units/ipads/OEM systems/tethered ipods/etc have officially made them obsolete" announcement really has become a tradition around these parts. Happy 2011 everyone :p
Originally Posted by justchat_1
It's not just me that thought he had heard it before then.
Originally Posted by justchat_1
Getting to be so you can set a watch to it almost eh? :)
i think bugbytes getting sick of tinkering with carpc's... ;)
my own reasoning for getting into carpc's is because of what the OEM's will always lack..
i started with headunits because oem radios were, and always have, lacked where ever i wanted them to be better-- poor sound quality, poor adjustment, though they are getting better on the level of integration, and connection options..
i got to a point where i kept asking myself where to go from there.. and i was getting ready to dump more then $2,000 on a nav unit, plus at least another thousand or two on a sound processor, when a carpc does everything that those items would do, and is more configurable, and customizable.
OEM's have way more to deal with, but mostly legalities, and dumb users... if they don't plan their systems to account for either, they end up getting hit with a major lawsuit.
so because of this, there is no chance that oem's will ever meet my requirements because of these issues.. so i am here, making my own solution. granted, it doesn't meet all my needs all the time, but it does a heck of a better job then most of the oem, or current batch of aftermarket units..
as stated, i don't think carpc's will ever die. no matter what technology the aftermarket, or oem's use..
Interesting since cares here are coming standard with "car PCs" - sounds lists etc.
I'm waiting for the things to be banned (for the usual HFE reasons), but until the Australian trials are concluded.... (A few definitive accidents etc.)
But yeah, we all know the total world market for a personal computer was ONE. (IBM; circa 1957?).