I’ve been thinking about installing a computer in the car and finally took on the challenge. Project is some 70% complete. Planned to have following features:
– Sync media library at home to car when in garage over Wi-Fi (done)
– 7" touch screen interface at the console (installed)
– Steering wheel buttons integration over BMW’s I-Bus (done)
– GPS Navigation using ALK’s Copilot for Laptops v8 (GPS installed & tested; software not arrived)
– Dashboard view of travel and weather related info (sync’d up in garage, displayed while driving — still researching software)
– XM radio integration (planned)
– More integration to BMW’s IBus. Coordinate power scenarios better (few power cases that cause pain at the moment. Such as prolonged wait in standby requires "press any key" to resume)
One somewhat important problem is the glare on touchscreen. The place I positioned the screen in the car and where my head is makes the screen act like a mirror of rear window. Of course in daylight this reduces visibility. My wife for example will not have this issue as she prefers to sit a bit closer.
Overall BMW IBus integration is the most fun part. You can track and act on any and all events in the car. Open/close each individual door, moonroof; engine start/ignition positions/gear changes. You can change the dashboard view based on the context the car is in — which is very important for making it seamless experience.
www.mp3car.com is the place to discuss all these. And I have more details in those forums. If interested in the topic, come over to www.mp3car.com