My Car has Internet Access!

Raspberry Pi in the car

Time to get my car Internet-ready.

My WiFi adapter for the Raspberry Pi arrived, and I finally got the time to sit down and play with it. As you can see above, I bought a spare keyboard/mouse combo, and a little second-hand TV to make programming the Raspberry Pi really easy.

The raspberry Pi itself is hidden inside that black box on the desk, which I call my “Box of tricks”. It’s full of other cool gadgets too, which you can see here.

Raspberry pi wifi setup

I’m connected to the house WiFi!

It was a piece of cake to connect to the internet: It found our house connection, I entered the password, and that’s it. I had one problem however with my little “KP-810-10A” wireless keyboard. The mouse pointer was always down the bottom of the screen. No matter what I did, the mouse pointer was stuck at the bottom, and I could only move it side to side.

Raspberry pi wireless keyboard

Rpi wireless keyboard problem solved.

I found a really simple solution however: move the wireless keyboard’s USB adapter onto the top plug. I don’t know why, but this solved the problem and now I can use my wireless keyboard every time without the mouse getting stuck at the bottom of the screen. If you have this problem, try this solution and write in the comments below if this works for you too.

Raspberry pi RCA

Bumpy Slovak roads snapped my RCA plug.

While I was waiting for my WiFi adapter to arrive, I noticed that the end had snapped on my yellow RCA cable. It turns out that my cheap cable was actually a plastic prong with a thin metal film, not all metal like I assumed. Made in China strikes again!

Raspberry pi hidden under the dash

My Raspberry Pi is installed under the dashboard

I replaced the cable with a new one, and positioned the box of tricks so that it shouldn’t snap in the future. I also plugged the “Aux Audio in” into the car’s TV screen, so that I can play podcasts or watch YouTube videos with sound and video in the car.

 Raspberry pi connected to mobile phone

I’m connecting the Rpi to my cellphone

All that was left to do was to turn on the “Wireless hotspot” option on my phone, and to tell the Raspberry Pi to connect to it.

Raspberry pi with internet connected in the car

We have the Internet!

Woohoo! My car is connected to the Internet! Now while I’m waiting for my wife at shopping centres, or maybe warming up the car in the morning, I can relax and check my emails without squinting into my phone, or just browse the Internet.

Raspberry Pi Internet Access in Car

I wonder if this is the first Suzuki Swift with Internet access?

This is awesome, but only the beginning as I still have quite a bit of learning to do. First of all, I need to manually change the Raspberry Pi’s video resolution to fit the screen better which won’t be too hard. Then I need to create a very basic program to connect automatically to my phone’s WiFi signal as soon as the car & computer starts up. That also shouldn’t be difficult.

This should open up a whole new world of car connectivity. From here on I can create all kinds of stuff – maybe even voice-controlled commands while driving. Cool huh? :)

You can use all images from this site, but please keep “suzukiswift.info” in the corner.

8 thoughts on “My Car has Internet Access!

  1. Cool project! Just want to say as a kiwi also in Europe, I always feel that something in heart whenever the word NZ comes up, let alone a in-car computer in Slovakia that shows New Zealand Herald 😉 Good luck with the mods!

  2. Really like what you have done with the PI, exactly the sort of thing I was hoping to try and achieve. Do you have more info, on the nuts and bolts of it all?

    All the best…
    Mike

  3. I’m sorry I ask, but where did you get the software for the raspberry to fit your car so well?
    Thank you for the answer!

    • Hi Andrei, the software for the DVD/TV/GPS comes with the car stereo and is already installed (I think it’s a version of Windows CE operating system). The software on the Raspberry Pi is called Raspbian, and it’s free to install on any Raspberry Pi (from here: http://www.raspbian.org/). I hope that answers your question. :)

  4. Love what you have done Do you know you can have Voice command for your Pi? presets and more ..Like ask it to find a gas bar and preset it to your local find gas prices in my area website ..and it will show you and if programmed tell you closest and cheapest price..same with Time weather forcast etc …Anyways keep us updated I will be doing a huge Truck project this spring summer with Banana Pi with the quad core

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.