Why would anyone want a computer in their vehicle?
The answer can be summed up in one word: ''convenience''.
This may seem contradictory, considering that computers require a good deal of maintenance in order to maintain stability. There are software updates, new hardware, the occasional system crash, and other aspects of computing that make it far from convenient. The goal of every vehicle computing hobbyist is to minimize the need for all of these, and there are a variety of approaches.
The convenience comes in when you have a centralized system for all the functionality you want from your PC, as opposed to multiple gadgets for each function. A single PC can provide music file playback, DVD playback, [WIKI]satellite radio[/WIKI], GPS [WIKI]navigation[/WIKI], [WIKI]engine diagnostics[/WIKI] information from the vehicle, internet access and hands-free cellphone operation. In order to achieve all that with individual products, you'd need a high-end audio/video system, a GPS system, a satellite radio receiver, a scan tool for diagnostics, and a device capable of internet access such as a PDA or a laptop. The PC will still be cheaper than all the gadgetry involved for all that functionality, not to mention you'll have central control of all the functions, ideally through a safe driver-friendly interface.
Show cars are increasingly using computer control for many systems, including operation of mechanical systems such as power windows and locks, actuators to open hatches or doors, and so on.
''Anything you can do with a desktop computer can be done with a vehicle computer.''<br>
The only limits to what you could have your carPC do are in your own imagination.