Raspberry Pi-based 4G AutoPi lets you program your car

AutoPi's Raspberry Pi-based dongle enables you to add smart features to your vehicle.

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AutoPi's ODB II dongle can make your dumb car smart. (Image: AutoPi.io)

Danish startup AutoPi.io has developed a Raspberry Pi Zero-based dongle that plugs into a vehicle's ODB II onboard diagnostic reader port and allows the user to program it to send alerts about the car, track its location, and monitor its performance.

The ODB II port on cars is used for things like emissions testing, but a number of products like Verizon's Hum extend its use to real-time monitoring and automated road-side assistance.

AutoPi aims to take this concept a step further by allowing developers to create their own features, such as programmable IFFT-like triggers for the car. The startup has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the concept, which centers on the AutoPi dongle and the AutoPi Cloud.

Some of the applications they've suggested include remote engine start, parking assistance, video evidence recording, crash detection, parental control, and auto lock and unlock.

The AutoPi dashboard can be accessed on the web from any device, which displays key performance and usage metrics, including speed over time, current speed, the engine temperature, and the car's location.

There are also a number of widgets that can be added for things like speed. It also contains a log of all historical trips and associated data. There's a library of software add-ons, such as the parking-assistance app, but for this to work, the user would need to insert a USB proximity sensor into one of the dongle's two USB ports.

The dongle contains an integrated ODB-II scanning chip from ScanTool, GPS, an accelerometer, a speaker for playing voice notifications, an 8GB microSD card, 18 available GPIO pins, an HDMI port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and depending on the version, an integrated 4G modem. It also runs on Raspberry Pi's Raspbian OS pre-installed with AutoPi's software.

AutoPi is aiming to raise $76,000 to launch the product with reward levels starting at $245.

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