OpenAuto Turns Your Raspberry Pi into a Carputer

Want to install a Raspberry Pi into your car and use it to access satnav, in-car entertainment, and more? It’s possible! Since its release, the Raspberry Pi has been at the heart of many carputer projects, so what makes OpenAuto different?

Designed to emulate an AndroidAuto head unit, OpenAuto runs on Raspbian Stretch and is based on the aasdk and Qt libraries, with the aim of running AndroidAuto on a Raspberry Pi 3 without any stability issues. With a range of display options (480p, 720p and 1080p with 30 or 60FPS) and hardware acceleration to decode video, you’ll probably want to pair your Raspberry Pi up with a touchscreen device to get the best out of this. OpenAuto takes up 4.9GB, so you’ll need at least an 8GB microSD card.

Hit play in the video above to see the OpenAuto project in action, with audio playback and Google Maps running.

For in-car entertainment, audio playback is available on all audio channels, and the device is configured for audio input and voice commands alongside touchscreen. Bluetooth is also supported, and your OpenAuto Raspberry Pi carputer should also automatically launch when you start your car. Just in case a Raspberry Pi isn’t suitable for your requirements, OpenAuto is available for mainstream Linux computers and Windows too.

Michał Szwaj, who has developed the project, reckons the carputer should run on other versions of the Raspberry Pi, but the problem is the time taken to compile. So, a Raspberry Pi Zero install is certainly possible, and better for physical space limits.

Want to install your Raspberry Pi in your vehicle as a carputer? Grab the source code from GitHub, where you’ll also find the setup instructions. Remember to drive safely, and minimise your use of the touchscreen while in motion.

You can check out full project details over on the OpenAuto project page.


Christian Cawley

Christian Cawley spends a lot of time with Raspberry Pis and scours the web looking for interesting DIY electronics projects and news for ElectroMaker. He's currently trying to show his 7 year old son how to get to grips with Scratch, but so far to no avail.


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