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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to BMW just got a 2004 Z4 3.0 Roadster. As much as I love this car for the looks and performance, the one thing I hate is the dashboard. I'm a pampered kid with driving all latest cars with fancy dashboards and loads of features (I travel a lot and I always rent these). I couldn't even pair my phone into my Z4 so far. I have steering controls, BMW assist and SOS.

I also see these after market systems are insanely costly for what they offer. Coming from Asia, I don't see as much value for those insane prices. Also, I do not want to spoil the looks of my car by replacing the original system. I want something to work alongside the original (something like Dice/Grom) but bringing all features that I want and easily upgradable with addons. I'm a Software programmer/consultant too, so I'm planning to build my own system. I came across this NanoPC (http://linuxgizmos.com/tiny-quad-core-mini-pc-ships-for-69/) which is basically an android computer that gives all that I want and I can just add more modules to extend the function if I wish to.

The above system is perfect, cheap and will satisfy all my needs if integrated into my car. My problem: I have no idea how I would do that. I'm a software guy and complete n00b in hardware or electronics. But I'm willing to learn and experiment with right direction.

I'm looking for the following functions:
  • USB Media Play
  • AUX connectivity
  • Bluetooth for calls and media streaming
  • SD card access
  • ADSL/4G modem + Wifi hotspot
  • Smartphone App input and control
  • Optional BT Keyboard
  • Backup camera integration
  • Any other sensor integration (like Blind spot sensor) that I might want to add later

I have the model with Navigation integrated and the DVD is placed at the back compartment between the seats. I also have steering controls and BMW Assist/SOS buttons that seem to work (pressed this once when trying to pair my BT that left my radio stranded with my GPS coordinates)

I'm basically looking to integrate this with my existing stereo and Navigation pop-up screen. I wish to either replace the existing screen with the new OS that comes with this new system and include those in this or start the new system with a new menu option (that I'll add) from the existing menus. Either way, the output will still be directed to the Nav screen.

What I want from experts here is how do I go about this? What do I need to get this done (hardware, software)? I haven't done any electronics or embedded softwares before. All I have done so far are the business softwares.

Thanks for your time and help._a__a2_
 

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Sound like quite a project. Without any hardware/electronics experience, you got a whole lot of learning to do. Business software experience is not going to get you far. The is sports car with a dated media system, not Mr. Gadget's car. Just drive it and have fun. :rofl:

If you must, this might interest you. http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=928193

Oh, welcome to the forums pampered kid.
 

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Are you going to drive this car or watch Youtube videos in it? ;)

Welcome to the forums and good luck! The first four features that you mention are available with the Parrot MKi9200 but not the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sound like quite a project. Without any hardware/electronics experience, you got a whole lot of learning to do. Business software experience is not going to get you far. The is sports car with a dated media system, not Mr. Gadget's car. Just drive it and have fun. :rofl:

If you must, this might interest you. http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=928193

Oh, welcome to the forums pampered kid.
Thanks Pungo. I came across that thread and looks close to what I'm looking for but not quite. It still plays the phone and GPS through it's own speaker, only music plays from car stereo. Also, it replaces the monitor screen. I'm never comfortable purchasing big chinese electronics because I'd not have an option to upgrade or update.

I understand this is a huge project esp. with my lack of experience. I have developed some interest in Electronics lately and thought this might be good for my learning while making my car futuristic along the way. I still want to do this as a hobby project and see where I go. Any pointers in that direction?

Are you going to drive this car or watch Youtube videos in it? ;)

Welcome to the forums and good luck! The first four features that you mention are available with the Parrot MKi9200 but not the rest.
Lol! Yes. Youtube for the passenger while I have fun driving it. Or browse the internet in my car when I feel tired of driving.

This parrot system is not what I'm looking for. I have the monitor, steering controls and mic integrated. I'd get a FM transmitter with BT doing all that and more for a fraction of its cost. I'm only looking to integrate the features I have and extend them a bit than adding a new system altogether.

Please check the Grom system here. This is close to what I'm looking for. http://www.gromaudio.com/store/usb_adapters/bmw_mini_98-06_usb_bluetooth_android_ipod_car_kit.html.

Thanks BTW for your suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I recently came across this software Navcoder which seems to provide a gate for the Navigation system. I'm going to research more with this. I'll keep posting my findings and progress (that's when I start doing this project).
 
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