The beginnings of an In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) System

In-Vehicle Infotainment is a slightly silly (IMO…) word for the center dash display of a modern car. It’s the system that runs the audio, GPS, settings, etc. on the car via a touchscreen LCD. I want to put the same in my car, but since this isn’t your run-of-the-mill production vehicle, I want to do some specialized functionality like diagnosing the data coming from the car. More or less the only choice I therefore have is to develop my own home-grown system, which I’m actually very excited about. Combing cars and computers into one sounds like lots of fun to me.

Typically, most folks build these “carputers” (the names just get better…) to plug into an existing car and mostly for the “tainment” rather than the “info” reasons. In my case, it’s a little bit different as I am much more focused on having access to all of the data floating around the car than anything else. Entertainment is icing on the cake, so for now I plan to display the data coming off a Controller Area Network (CAN) bus onto the center dash and I’ll be happy once I achieve that reliably. So what is can then? CAN is an automotive industry standard developed by Robert Bosch GmbH in the 1980’s for having various electronics communicate within a car.

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