Raspberry Pi Goes Android Auto: Now Build Cheap Car Head Unit

Today I have good news for the vehicle owners, and that is, the Raspberry Pi has now given support to the Android Auto head unit.


What is Android Auto?

As you may know that the Google introduced an Android app called ‘Android Auto’ in 2015 to offer an enhanced use of an Android system on the car equipped with the compatible deck (head unit).

Use of Android Auto

If you own such system, then you can play music, send texts, do GPS navigations, search on the web, and even make calls. You can use either button-controlled or touchscreen head units for this. Though this setup is so much useful and interesting, not many people use it due to its costly prices. But, it’s a history now because with the support of the fastest Raspberry Pi 3 and the release of the Linux-based Crankshaft Operating System help to get the service of an Android Auto touchscreen head unit system under $100.

Crankshaft OS on Raspberry Pi

The crankshaft is specially designed to have the Android Auto app support on the Raspberry Pi systems. You will need to download and install this Linux distribution on the Pi compatible SD card, and then you can access it on the Pi 3 powered car head unit.

Crankshaft platform doesn’t support the microphone functionality (update: solved now) which means you cannot make voice search on Google through it, said Huan Truong, the developer of the OS. He also told that the application is in its early stage so it will frequently be upgraded after detecting the bugs and finding their right solutions. He further added that the software might not work on some of the Android models like Moto G4, Galaxy Note 8, and some others. But, it works perfectly on the Pi 3 connected devices like One Plus models, Google Pixel series, and Nexus phones.

Your own Pi 3 powered car head unit

This affordable Android Auto vehicle head unit based on Raspberry Pi gives you a new level of comfort and convenience in your car driving experience. Days are gone in which people needed to stick their phones on the dashboards or to use some phone holder to use apps like Google maps because this small yet powerful head unit will give you all the functionalities of your smartphone on a bigger, better, and friendly touchscreen.

Features of Raspberry Pi Android Auto Car Head Unit

  • You can play the audio through system, media, or speech
  • It can be controlled through button-system or touchscreen
  • When you plug-in the device, it will automatically launch
  • 30 or 60FPS supported by 480 pixels, 720 pixels, and 1080 pixels resolutions
  • Full hardware acceleration support from Raspberry Pi 3
  • You can even connect it to the Bluetooth on the device
  • The phone will not get hot even when you use the Google Maps for more extended periods

Make your Android auto car head unit today

The Android Auto supports Windows platform too which means if you have Windows IoT environment on your Raspberry Pi, then also you can take the most out of it. The developer is working towards the compatibility to other platforms in the future.

If you are also interested in getting such setup in your vehicle and have some thoughts in minds, then do share them in the comment section below.


Jessica Ward

Hey! I am Jessica Ward. I love to write about technology and learn or thinking about latest techno. And my forever ever love technology project is Raspberry Pi. I do and know more or more for Raspberry Pi.

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