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Thread: Concept Car Infotainment

  1. #1
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    Concept Car Infotainment

    Hi everyone,

    I'm Segun, and I'm an automotive designer/engineer. I have a bit of experience fitting the odd stereo system, car security, and such, but my forte is in design development, and mechanical engineering.

    So my team and I are building a prototype sports car, and I'd like to put a car pc in it. There are a number of things I'd like to be able to do, but as I haven't previously been an electronics customization expert, I don't know where to start. I'll just give an overview of features I'd like to incorporate, and I'll be most grateful if I could get some help:

    - Automatic power-up on ignition
    - Motorised pop up from Dash
    - Customizable splash screen
    - FM & Digital Radio
    - iPod/iPad Connectivity
    - USB & AUX input
    - 3 x Pre-outs to Amplifier for surround sound
    - 3G Capability
    - Google Maps
    - Bluetooth Hands-free for telephone

    Now, I think we can figure out the automatic power up, motorized pop up, and the custom splash screen pretty easily. What I'm not too sure of is how easy it is to get the remaining features in one system. Then, what OS? windows? Android? We don't really want to go for a DIN fitment, because I think they're just boring, so the dash has been designed without one, but it incorporates a pop up screen.

    So, I wonder if you could help me with some advice, and when the project goes live, tech help if necessary.

    Cheers!

    Segun
    Last edited by seautomotive; 08-03-2012 at 11:24 AM.

  2. #2
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    All pretty easy stuff. automatic power-up is done via an automotive power supply like the m2-atx found in the mp3car store. Motorized pop-up is going to be tricky. The rest is just finding the right hardware and software configuration.
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  3. #3
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    I think you would have an easier time using windows, based on wanting ipod connectivity, surround sound, and fm radio. Tinyxp is a pretty quick version that you could try. Most of those are pretty simple functions so you shouldn't have much trouble. Just need the right sound card, cablrs, and an fm tuner.
    Last edited by duncanator24; 08-04-2012 at 04:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate Lincolnman's Avatar
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    Why 3G for a prototype / concept car?
    I would think that you would want 4G in an effort to stay bleeding edge.
    That said, I would love to see this one progress further.
    Off topic, what sort of layout are you doing, mid engine RWD, front engine RWD, AWD? Two seats, I assume? I want to hear about this car!
    Electronics work on magic smoke - don't let it out.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolnman View Post
    Why 3G for a prototype / concept car?
    I would think that you would want 4G in an effort to stay bleeding edge.
    That said, I would love to see this one progress further.
    Off topic, what sort of layout are you doing, mid engine RWD, front engine RWD, AWD? Two seats, I assume? I want to hear about this car!
    Thanks for all the feedback, guys. And sorry for the delay in responding. I kinda just lost track.

    I'll go and research these recommendations and see what I can find. The car is a mid-engined sports coupe, made of fibreglass. Why is it special, seeing as there are tonnes of other such projects around the world? It would represent the first such effort at automotive development where I come from. I'm sure many of you have heard jokes about Nigerian scam emails, and probably even received one or two yourselves. Our team is hoping that a project like this could change some of these perceptions and get us on the way to some sort of industrial revolution.

    You can find more on:

    www.secars.com.ng
    www.facebook.com/sedau350
    Last edited by seautomotive; 08-25-2012 at 09:00 PM.

  6. #6
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    I've seen some Mini ATX Units with 7.1 Surround. Is an amplifier still recommended? My home system doesn't use an external amp.... unless there's one hidden inside the sub.... Could anyone advise?

    Thanks?

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate Lincolnman's Avatar
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    Holy, I didn't even realize your location! Good for you for such an ambitious project from an area with so little support for it!
    Yes, your home surround sound would more than likely have an amplifier built into the sub - most do. You will need an external amplifier that will handle all your connections from the card's output, the on board sound will be line level and would power no more than headphones.
    A mid engine fiberglass sports coupe - you really have my interest now. I considered a similar project years ago, I was going to use a Nissan VQ engine. Are you basing styling off an existing design or something entirely from scratch?
    Electronics work on magic smoke - don't let it out.

  8. #8
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    thanks

    ...for the info! I certainly get it now.

    The car is my own design. I'm a coventry graduate of automotive design, so I've brought my skills home to see how I can change the game here, despite the lack of support, as you rightly said.

    We've actually started sculpting the interior mould, but I've been off of it due to a broken tool and the flu, one after the other. Tool's been refurbished with parts from London, and I'm just returning to strength. Should get back on it on Monday. We're still considering powertrain options.... 325hp rated V6, V8 supercharged to 450 etc we'll see.

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by seautomotive View Post
    My home system doesn't use an external amp.... unless there's one hidden inside the sub.... Could anyone advise?
    Home computer speakers, these days, usually plug into power as well as into the audio ports on a computer. If they do, then it has a built-in amplifier, usually located in the sub, but my speakers are more low-end and the right speaker actually handles the power (no sub).

    Best of luck to you in your project. It's always nice to see a developing country make something of themselves (China's world-wide success in the last couple decade comes to mind).

  10. #10
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    thanks

    Mine does have a sub that plugs in, so there's my answer.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Please like our facebook page for updates on project progress.

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