BMW Control Center
An embedded computer, an Arduino PCB, and an Android tablet walk into a
I am modernizing my 2005 vehicle by adding oodles of connectivity and custom electronics. So far, I’ve successfully implemented:
- Bluetooth Audio with hotspot tethering
- Programmable wireless LTE, pushing state over MQTT
- Arduino based custom PCB measuring battery voltages, switching relays, and tracking GPS location
- K-Bus, controlling radio/windows/locks/other auxiliaries
- CAN Bus, recording ECU data like speed, RPM, pressure
- Hardwired 4K dash camera with 1TB SSD
- Prometheus exported on
/metricsfor recording time series data
- IP namespaces and write-on-update state control, limiting wireless data
- Android tablet running a customized build of LineageOS
- 3D printed cases, bezels, and shims
- Android apps providing “Tesla-like” control over all the above
These primary features culminate into an app controlled, privacy preserving, monolith of a smart-car-computer system.
It’s all primarily written with:
- Go API for vehicle state
- React Native clients for remote system control
- C with PlatformIO + Arduino
- Python for handling exported album artwork
- Containizered Mosquito and Prometheus instances on a home server
- Various Unix tools
My design goal is to steal all the ideas modern automakers have fleshed out the past two decades, learning everything I can while writing my own take.
- Board: Currently fulfilled by a Raspberry Pi 3 A, although has also worked well on the ODROID N2 and Khadas VIM3
- KBus USB adapter
- Canable Pro
- Huawei LTE dongle
- Samsung Tab S2
- Excellent OLED panel, looks stunning at night
- Custom 3D printed bezel for mounting in dash
- 30Ah deep cycle battery
Infrequently Asked Qs
What makes this specific to BMW?
Great question, me. The KBus is a proprietary complement to the more universal CAN bus, and is unique to BMWs and Minis. Probably Rolls-Royce as well.
The KBus is such a critical component, and the design is specific to my model, it would be less useful on any other vehicle.