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I'm developing a Driver Safety Monitoring System which is kind of small software which would be implemented inside a car with connections to few cameras.

What I want to know is to implement this software inside the vehicle what kind of computer can I use?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

www.mp3car.com has a lot of resources and information on installing computers into cars. Of course they are usually using the computers for playing music, but a computer is computer right? It's up to you to choose what software you want to run on it.

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You're going to have to either:

Contact the manufacturers of many different types of cars, and ask about what embedded computer systems they're using, and get all the specifics of their cameras and what connections you have access to. Honestly, I have no idea how its going to work, good luck. I don't think they have APIs that they just give out.

Or, you can use your own hardware. But then you gotta convince people to buy your software AND your computer, AND hook up your computer and your cameras to their car. Very unlikely.

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yes i was thinking of using of my own hardware. Intention is to implement it as a 3rd party device. Just in the research level :) –  Nips Jan 31 '11 at 7:29

I am pretty sure if you want to integrate this into a current car that you don't really have choice. You are only going to have the hardware installed in the car available and you may or may not not have full access to this. If you decide to install this as stand alone software then you can use whatever hardware you want.

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In a modern car there are several CAN buses, connected with a router. The mission-critical electronics reside on a low-latency bus, while the user experience (multimedia, air conditioner) devices reside on a high-throughput bus.

Regardless of which network the cameras belong to, your software will probably need to know current speed, airbag readiness, etc, and those are accessible from the "critical" network. And you should really not be touching there!


So, enough rambling.

  • If you decide to produce your own computer/board/smartphone app, you will need to interface it to the CAN bus, and send request to the central router for certain data streams.

  • If you decide to embed it in the car's computers ... I don't know. Everything is closed source and many things are safety-crytical.

Take a look at this car software inegration suite. Some manufacturers use it.


Best bet - go to your repair shop and ask the mechanics what tools they use to update the software, and how much they cost.


Only painless/possible way that I see is to use dedicated cameras connected to a dedicated computer (could be a smartphone) through a dedicated bus.

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