Controlling a Mazda Car Using an iPhone

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

This hack illustrates how a car can be controlled from anywhere in the world by tapping into the disgnostic systems and onboard webserver of the car. The objective is to keep the car live  and connected to the Internet 24G—7 even when not being driven. It should run continuously without flattening the car battery by critically selecting a low-po

Controlling a Mazda Car Using an iPhone
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wer computer. Also, the user should be able to start the engine, pop the trunk, lock/unlock, and view all vehicle diagnostics from his iPhone. The chosen car was a Mazda RX-8 as shown in the image below. It was released in 2004 and consists of 6-speed manual transmission with a 1. 3L 13B-MSP RENESIS engine. The computer used in this hack is an Alix-1 which draws very little power but is fast enough to run a full Linux distribution system. To fit into a recess in the base of the RX-8 boot, a mounting frame was assembled. It has room to mount the Alix-1, a USB hub, a charge circuit, and a deep-cycle 28A/h sealed lead acid battery. The SLA battery is charged using an intelligent battery charger so it can continuously run the Alix-1. Whenever the car is running, the charger tops it up. The charger works perfectly in this application although it was designed for topping up deep-cycle batteries. Shown in the image below is the Alix-1 mounted in a custom subframe inside the boot of RX-8. To run diagnostics on the engine management system, a laptop is usually plugged by a mechanic to the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port under the dash. The Alix-1 is permanently connected to the port on this RX-8 and dozens of parameters about vehicle performance including speed, RPM, intake manifold temperature, engine load, fuel level, fuel pressure, fuel injection mode, timing and many other items are polled to the ECU every few seconds. A MySQL...

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