ODB-II Bluetooth adapter and head-up displays to monitor and diagnose your car have been around for a while. I actually got two models to use with a Toyota Avanza and Torque Lite app, but never managed to make it work with my phone. Macchina M2 board is doing much of the same thing and more, as it is open source hardware, and supports more communications protocols including GPS, WiFi, 3G/LTE, BLE, and Ethernet using XBEE boards.
Macchina M2 specifications:
- MCU – Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex M3 processor @ 84 MHz (also used on Arduino DUE) with 96 KB SRAM, 512KB flash
- Storage – micro SD card socket, 32KB EEPROM via I2C
- USB – 1x micro USB port (USB device or host mode)
- Wireless XBee Socket – For Bluetooth LE, WiFi, GSM, 3G, LTE,
- 6x automotive level I/O pins to control 12V devices (Examples: relays, fans, lights, etc) OR act as analog input (like temp sensor)
- 2x channels of CAN, 2x channels of LIN/ K-line, J1850 VPW/PWM, single-wire CAN interfaces for maximum car compatibility.
- Misc – 5x user LEDs, 1x RGB LED
- Power Supply – 5V@ 3A, 3.3V@1A amps for connecting add ons
- Dimensions – 56.4mm x 40.6mm x 15.7mm
Once you’ve done the hardware setup – very easy with the ODB-II connector, and a little bit more difficult under the hood -, you can hack your car away, programming it with the Arduino IDE to gather RPM, speed, diagnostics data, etc…. This will also allow you it to tune it, or even control it remotely, for example starting it with a mobile control app. If you don’t want to program the board, ELM327 emulation will allow support for popular apps such as Torque for Android, or Dashcommand for iPhone, Android, and Windows App. The developers also uploaded some video tutorials on YouTube, some guides can be found on M2 Wiki, and one of the member of the team wrote a book called “The Car Hacker’s Handbook“.
Macchina M2 launched on Kickstarter a few weeks ago, and the project has already raised over $90,000, surpassing its $25,000 goal. Rewards start at $45 with M2 interface board only, which requires you to add your own MCU/CPU board, but most people will be interested in the $79 pledge to get a complete Macchina M2 board including the Atmel SAM3X board. Shipping is free to the US, but adds $15 to the rest of the world. Deliver is scheduled for July 2017.
Thanks to Thomas for the tip.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.