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Old 7th May 2006, 20:54   #1
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Default Prototype Car PC

Hi All,

I recently joined Team-BHP and found it to be the best Auto Forum that I ever saw.

I wanted to have your ideas on a project that I am currently involved with, please let me know your feedback.

I have finished building a protoype for a Car PC that does the following and would love to get your opinion/feedback/suggesstions on the same.

1. In Dash Replacement for the Car Stereo, 1 DIN size.

2. Complete Multimedia Player with Audio/Video/DVD playback. Plays all types of CD's like Audio, MP3, WMA etc.

3. GPS with maps of Bangalore, Delhi and NCR and Chandigarh. The software does not do route guidance, but shows you on a zoomable map your location, speed, altitude etc. Pretty good accuracy upto 10 meters on the map. Voice Prompts for user defined waypoints are there.

4. Specially designed Power Supply that automatically Shuts down the PC after you switch off the car. The Power supply takes input directly from the car battery.

5. Complete Touchscreen Interface with 7 Inch VGA monitor. An optional Keyboard and Mouse can be attached in case you want to work on your office work while travelling.

6. Rear View Disply on Screen through a wide angle camera.

Planning Stage....

7. I am planning to add a OBDII module that would show in real time the engine statistics like RPM, Fuel consumption etc. Depends on car ECU to a large extent.

8. Also planning to add module to control Power Window and A/C control.

9. A vehicle locator that sends SMS in case your vehicle is stolen can also be added.

10. Can also be used as a regular in car computer and can be used to browse the internet and send and recieve mail while on the move through GPRS.

All this is pre-loaded on a 128 MB USB pen drive and the PC requires no hard disk. I tried putting a hard disk but road conditions are bad and the Hard disk is susceptible to crashes.

Please let me know if there is something else that would be good to include in this.

Thanks

Manik
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Old 7th May 2006, 21:25   #2
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This sounds interesting...since you already have a prototype...can you post some pics...i'd like to see how it looks.

Another option i could think of is the addition of a mobile phone...so that you can make and recieve calls without your handset...the sound could come from the existing speakers of the audio system.

Drifter
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Old 7th May 2006, 21:39   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter
This sounds interesting...since you already have a prototype...can you post some pics...i'd like to see how it looks.

Another option i could think of is the addition of a mobile phone...so that you can make and recieve calls without your handset...the sound could come from the existing speakers of the audio system.

Drifter
I have imported most of the components and built the Application Stuff myself.

You can see the pictures at the following links.

1. Touchscreen : http://www.lilliput.com.cn/eng/conte...cts.asp?ID=163

2. GPS Reciever:

http://www.globalsat.com.tw/english/..._id=21&p_id=83

3. 1 DIN Computer Case with VIA MINI ITX M10000 Motherboard, 256 MB RAM:

http://www.travla.com/Products/Bareb...-ITX.html#c134

4. Power Supply: Custom built.

5. GPS: You can see the complete application with screenshots at

http://www.gpsdrive.cc

6 Operating System:

Embedded Linux, Custom made and integrated by me for all the applications and touchscreen interface. I will post screenshots soon. Runs on a 128 MB USB Pen Drive.

Let me know if you need more details.

Thanks

Manik

Last edited by Traveler : 7th May 2006 at 21:43.
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Old 7th May 2006, 23:15   #4
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How about adding in extra features like built in Bluetooth,built in multi-card reader.
And how about providing 2 USB ports in front,so that we can attach peripherals like keyboard/mouse/scanner/webcam/etc.
A built in microphone can also be put in for Audio chat through EDGE GSM or CDMA Internet access.
-sr
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Old 7th May 2006, 23:24   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manikahuja
I have imported most of the components and built the Application Stuff myself.

You can see the pictures at the following links.

1. Touchscreen : http://www.lilliput.com.cn/eng/conte...cts.asp?ID=163

2. GPS Reciever:

http://www.globalsat.com.tw/english/..._id=21&p_id=83

3. 1 DIN Computer Case with VIA MINI ITX M10000 Motherboard, 256 MB RAM:

http://www.travla.com/Products/Bareb...-ITX.html#c134

4. Power Supply: Custom built.

5. GPS: You can see the complete application with screenshots at

http://www.gpsdrive.cc

6 Operating System:

Embedded Linux, Custom made and integrated by me for all the applications and touchscreen interface. I will post screenshots soon. Runs on a 128 MB USB Pen Drive.

Let me know if you need more details.

Thanks

Manik
How much would be the estimated street price?
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Old 8th May 2006, 00:43   #6
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Awesome project dude !! I was thinking on similar lines too ... We definatly need a not-so-expensive Car PC for india!!!
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Old 8th May 2006, 01:02   #7
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Thumbs up pricing ??

nice work man!!
but i guess pricing is the key!!! how much would this turn out to cost?? also it would be much beter to get a gps that shows the route too!!
otherwise an awsome object of desire for every car lover!!
also why dont you give a memory card slot might be slower than a hard disk but atleast you can have storage of at least 1gb!!
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Old 8th May 2006, 11:18   #8
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Default Estimated Pricing

Hi All,

Thanks for the awesome responses from all if you. Youe feedback is really appreciated.

I will try to address the concerns expressed by all of you.

1. GPS: There are no vector maps available for India yet from any reliable sources. Vector maps are required for route guidance. The one available commercially cost upwards of 50K per city and the entire project costing goes for a toss. What I have is Raster Maps (Digitised Maps) of the 3 cities I mentioned. I have myself digitized them and then Geo-referenced them to the best accuracy. These maps are same as the ones available in the market and are known Guide Maps (Eicher, TTK etc) . So basically the maps I have are equal to the Guide maps with the same detail as available in them. On top of it you can zoom in and out to locate your bearings. I really dont think we need route guidance as we always have an idea of which part of city we need to go and if you have a real time map displaying your car on top of it then you are pretty much comfortable. Please look at the screenshots at http://www.gpsdrive.cc to have a look at the type of navigation that can be achieved with these maps.

2. There are 2 USB ports already there in the front and you can hook up any device to it. It also has a DVD ROM for playing your media (Music or Video). If needed and if your roads are smooth I can also put in a 40 GB Hard Disk. I cannot guarantee how long it will last though as the road bumps and jerks will sooner or later make it crash. I can provide a Memory Card Slot too with 1 GB. The cost would obviously go up accordingly.

3. Bluetooth can be easiy added via a USB Dongle, so that is not an issue.

4. I will see the feasability of adding a mobile phone, but that will sure jack up the estimated price.

5. Finally the big question, how much will it cost. Well to be honest I have incurred the following expenses till now on building this prototype.

A. 1 DIN Case that fits in the stereo slot: $140
B. VIA M10000 Motherboard: $160
C. Low Profile DDR RAM 256MB: $60
D: Slot Loading DVD ROM with adapter: $80
E: Custom Built Power Supply: $100
F: 7 Inch Touchscreen Monitor: $250
G. USB Drive 128 MB: $40
H: Custom Embedded OS and Applications to run all this: Not yet esitmated as I have customised and integrated all of this myself. I tool me almost an year to do this.
I: Maps: Same as Above. I estimate I could provide one base map for the city you live in and in case you want another map you could buy that as a option. I have really not thought on the pricing for these as of yet.

So totally the base hardware cost works out to be: $830 or Rs. 37250/- as of today's rates. Import and Customs Duty are extra on actuals. Additionally I will need to factor in distribution and warranty/support costs and a little for myself . So I guess the price would go up by atleast another 15K. So lets say 55K all inclusive.

Also please remember that once installed it wil replace your Car Entertainment device comletely. A decent one that is able to play DVD's and play Music with a 7 inch screen costs approx 25K in the market. Please correct me if I am wrong on this.

Speakers and a good amp will definitely be required extra in both the cases. So you will need to get them as well.


let me know you thoughts.


Thanks

Manik

Last edited by Traveler : 8th May 2006 at 11:20.
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Old 8th May 2006, 12:37   #9
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what about security, Have you given options for detaching the screen and components to prevent Theft...!

Last edited by wolfinstein : 8th May 2006 at 12:39.
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Old 8th May 2006, 12:40   #10
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Default Security Questions

Yes the entire system can be easily taken out of the car. The computer slides out from the slot like any car stereo and the Screen can be plugged out too. What is best is that using a 12V adapter at home you can plug this computer to a spare monitor lying around use this as a regular computer at home too.

Thanks

Manik
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Old 8th May 2006, 13:50   #11
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well can you provide mumbai maps too ? & maybe you should keep the option of a hard drive. many users would run out of space on a 1 gb compact flash drive. and yea could you post some pics...
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Old 8th May 2006, 13:54   #12
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Default Availability of Maps

Yes I can provide Maps of Mumbai too. The maps are part of the 128MB USB so you would not need any other storage for them. You will need the storage only for storing your Music and movies if you choose too. A hard disk can definitely be provided.

I am arranging the photos for this and will post them in this week. In the meantime I have given links in my earlier posts to all the products individually. You can have a look at the pictures there.

Basically the Car PC slots into the Car Stereo Slot and the Touchscreen is mounted either on your dashboard or flush mounted in your console if there is space there.

Thanks

Manik
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Old 8th May 2006, 14:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manikahuja
A. 1 DIN Case that fits in the stereo slot: $140
B. VIA M10000 Motherboard: $160
C. Low Profile DDR RAM 256MB: $60
D: Slot Loading DVD ROM with adapter: $80
E: Custom Built Power Supply: $100
F: 7 Inch Touchscreen Monitor: $250
G. USB Drive 128 MB: $40
H: Custom Embedded OS and Applications to run all this: Not yet esitmated as I have customised and integrated all of this myself. I tool me almost an year to do this.
I: Maps: Same as Above. I estimate I could provide one base map for the city you live in and in case you want another map you could buy that as a option. I have really not thought on the pricing for these as of yet.

So totally the base hardware cost works out to be: $830 or Rs. 37250/- as of today's rates. Import and Customs Duty are extra on actuals. Additionally I will need to factor in distribution and warranty/support costs and a little for myself . So I guess the price would go up by atleast another 15K. So lets say 55K all inclusive.
Well Manik, in this hardware cost you have not considered the cost of the camera that you have integrated with the computer for rear view. I guess that will also add up to the cost. Moreover, if you add a module to interact with the car's ECU (thats when it actually becomes a car computer in real sense) that will also add to the price. Again, I do not think it will be a plug-and-play thing. So installation costs are also going to be there.
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Old 8th May 2006, 15:06   #14
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Default Cost Concerns

The Rear View Camera cost is minimal in this case and can be asumed to be part of the overall cost I mentioned

Regarding the Installation there will be some cost but not much. It is designed to be almost plug and play.

The OBDII is not included in this price as it is still in planning stage.

Also please note that this is just a tentative back cover cost that I calculated , there could be differences in the final pricing but I can assure you they will not be substantial in any way.

Thanks

Manik
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Old 8th May 2006, 15:36   #15
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the flush mounting of the touchscreen...this would be a custom job i'm guessing involving fabrication. btwn is the lcd a normal stand one or an indash motorised one ?
and the software interface ( frontend) any screenshots of that since you said you've loaded everything on 128mb (os included i'm guessing)...or any free ones like roadrunner, frodoplayer etc.
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