A touch-sensitive car computer would normally cost you big bucks to buy and have installed, but Instructables user Zaqq shows us how you can roll your own with the ever-powerful Raspberry Pi, some affordable components and a little elbow grease. Best of all, it runs XBMC beautifully.
First, a warning: You shouldn't use this — or any in-dash entertainment unit with lots of options and buttons and widgets — while you're driving. I think we've all come to accept things like changing radio stations and pressing play or pause or fast forward, but managing a playlist is a bit much. Be safe.
This Pi-powered car computer is powerful. It boasts all of the features of XBMC, so if you have a passenger to keep the tunes pumping or who would love to watch a movie on a long road trip, this setup can definitely do it. You'll need a Pi, of course (Zaqq recommends the Model B, not the B+), running Xbian on its SD card, a Tontexc 7-inch touchscreen, a small USB drive for your media, power supplies for the whole deal, and the wiring to hook into your existing car stereo system. A few more odds and ends (a coat hanger, glue, stuff like that) and you're all set. Assembling the screen and setting up the Pi is actually the easy part, and we've actually shown you a similar setup that takes less than 30 minutes a little while ago.
Once your Pi is configured, it's time to mount the system in your car, and that's where things get a little tricky. How you wire it all up and fit it into your dash depends on your vehicle, but if you check out the full tutorial below, Zaqq offers some tips and guidance to make everything fit nicely without looking supremely out of place. He even installed it so the bezel was removable so he could get the system out for maintenance or updates if he needed to. Hit the link below for more.
Raspberry Pi Touch Screen Car Computer [Instructables]