In newer cars, it is becoming more commonplace for them to have advanced navigation systems and other electronics installed as options. However, complete user-interactive computers are still very much a niche item. Even rarer, are computers that use Linux as its operating system platform. We have put together a high performance computer, and integrated it into a 1999 Pontiac Grand AM. This computer runs Gentoo Linux and has GPS, WiFi, MP3, and other capabilities not mentioned.
Commerical computer motherboards are now available with form factors as low as 12x12cm (nano-ITX). These computers are available at (relatively) low cost, and are readily available. There are communities of car enthusiasts online who have fully functioning computers in their cars, and it is slowly moving into the mainstream. This form factor is the basis of our design.
This website details our project's progress from its start to its (not quite there yet) completion. Especially amusing is the pictures section, where you can see the temporary cardboard enclosure that we created to hold the computer -- it looks strangely like a bomb!
NEW! Finally the carputer is mounted in my car! Go to the pictures section (towards the end) to see the (mostly) final result!
We hope you enjoy learning about our project -- we certainly had fun putting it together! Please contact us if you have any questions, thanks!
Dustin Spicuzza & Brian Remilliard