Current version of the OpenAuto Pro is 9.0
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A standalone Car System Using OpenAuto Pro 8.0 and Raspberry Pi 3B setup
#1
Hello folks, I own a Skoda Roomster 2007 car that I really love so much, however it doesn’t have neither a bluetooth nor phone system, I had the same car in the past that had a bluetooth and hands-free calling system, unfortunately this one doesn’t. So I wanted to add these functionalities to the car. This was challenging as I am iPhoner already and never been an Android user before, although I am a Linux system Engineer. The good news is my son is and that’s where all started. 

I wanted to share my setup with you, the challenges I went through and how I overcome them.  Let’s exchange knowledge and if someone has a better solution please be so kind to share.

What I wanted to achieve:
  • Hands-free voice command system
  • Hands-free calling with the the caller name/number being displayed on the 7-inch touch-screen.
  • Bluetooth media music controlled by the touchscreen and voice commands.
  • Turn-by-turn navigation system using my favorite apps (Google Maps, Waze)
  • Live car position tracking for security and other finding my car.
Requirements:
  • Raspberry Pi 3B or higher (Raspberry Pi 4B is recommended)
  • At least 3A charger with a type B micro USB end. (OpenAuto Pro requires more with more USB peripherals connected and still showing the lightening flash on the touchscreen with 3.1A)
  • SD card (at least 8 GB) and the OpenAuto Pro preloaded on it using the Etcher or the official Imager software.
  • Standard HDMI cable (the one comes with touchscreen will do just fine).
  • External USB sound card.
  • Lapel mic (nick mic) stereo and not mono as mono won’t work
  • 2 auxiliary cables of good quality
  • 2 extra USB-A to micro USB-B cables for the Raspberry Pi and the phone.
  • 7-inch touchscreen for Raspberry Pi
  • Bluetooth dongle that supports HFP/HSP and A2DP bluetooth profiles is preferred but not mandatory, a normal Bluetooth dongle will work in my setup.
  • An old Android phone that is Android Auto capable.
  • Multi-SIM card with same number (This provides calling functionality and Internet)
  • Tasker app to automate things.
  • Audio splitter (2-femal to 1 Male).  
  • Contacts Sync App from Google Play store.
Challenges:
  • I bought a cheap CSR bluetooth dongle that doesn’t support the HFP/HSP profiles for making and receiving calls it’s known that it has issues with OpenAuto Pro. However, that was the only one among other unknown brands available in the market in my country, the known to work Panda brand is not available, so there was no guarantee that other ones will work. However if you can get one that support HFP/HSP and A2DP you will save the second AUX leg, so only one AUX cable is required in this case.
  • Second, I am an iPhoner and I want to stick to my iPhone.
  • I had to have something that keeps my contacts on both phones the Android and my iPhone in sync otherwise only the callers’ phone numbers will display without names identifying who is calling.
  • The Android phone use (Huawei Y5 Prime 2018) runs Android Ore 8.1 with the latest security patch (no root) and doesn’t natively support Android Auto, so I had to download and install Android Auto from external sources (APK mirror) though this still have defeats and somehow slow performance but it did the job for me, maybe yours will do better.
Setup

In my setup there are two auxiliary cables (Legs) coming out of the system, the first leg is from the external USB sound card and this will handle the voice commands, Google Assistant responses, music and media outputs, while the other cable coming out of the phone socket will be dedicated to calling and to put this into work you need to disable "Calls" in the bluetooth settings of the Android phone after pairing and keep "Sharing Contacts" and "Media". 

Using an old Android phone will avoid us the hassle of testing multiple bluetooth dongles that don’t support HFP/HSP profiles that won’t work in most scenarios, it will act as our phone server for making and receiving phone calls. 

I have setup Tasker profile to switch to my second SIM card once bluetooth is connected when the OpenAuto Pro boots (to make it the default for receiving calls, a second SIM is already capable of making calls, send text messages, and internet).

I have also setup the ContactSync app to automatically sync my contacts from iCloud to the Android Gmail account registered on the Android phone. (This app is free for up to 40 contacts however you would need to upgrade to the premium for the auto-sync to work, it’s such a great app and I highly recommend it, but you can always use your favorite.
  • Connect the HDMI port on the Raspberry Pi to the HDMi port on touchscreen using the HDMi cable.
  • Connect the micro-USB port in the touchscreen to one of the USB-A ports on the Raspberry Pi.
  • Connect the charger micro-USB type B to the powering socket on the Raspberry Pi.
  • Connect the external USB sound card to the Raspberry Pi and connect the mic and one AUX cable to it.
  • Connect the second micro-USB cable to the phone and the USB-A to the Pi, this is more stable for Android Auto than the bluetooth.
  • Connect the bluetooth dongle to the fourth USB port on the Pi.
  • Connect the second AUX cable to the phone audio output.
  • Connect both AUX cables to the AUX audio splitter then to the car AUX socket as input to your car sound system/speaker.
With this Setup I ended up with a system that worked fine to my needs providing the required functionality with a standalone Android Auto support that triggers automatically based on my OpenAuto Pro settings with turn by turn navigation (Google Maps or Waze) and voice commands, music (Spotify or Google music if it works in your country) that is controlled by voice commands and touchscreen and starts automatically based on my Tasker profile setup. The Android phone acts as a phone/calling and contacts server manager with Tasker switching automatically between my two SIMs every time my OpenAuto Pro launches, it act as a car security spot tracking solution, contacts syncs automatically between my phones using the Contacts Sync app, with the ability to make and receive calls from the Pi screen with caller number and name displayed so no need to fully switch to Android, now I can keep my iPhone.
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#2
(06-07-2020, 09:21 AM)Basem Wrote: Hello folks, I own a Skoda Roomster 2007 car that I really love so much, however it doesn’t have neither a bluetooth nor phone system, I had the same car in the past that had a bluetooth and hands-free calling system, unfortunately this one doesn’t. So I wanted to add these functionalities to the car. This was challenging as I am iPhoner already and never been an Android user before, although I am a Linux system Engineer. The good news is my son is and that’s where all started. 

I wanted to share my setup with you, the challenges I went through and how I overcome them.  Let’s exchange knowledge and if someone has a better solution please be so kind to share.

What I wanted to achieve:
  • Hands-free voice command system
  • Hands-free calling with the the caller name/number being displayed on the 7-inch touch-screen.
  • Bluetooth media music controlled by the touchscreen and voice commands.
  • Turn-by-turn navigation system using my favorite apps (Google Maps, Waze)
  • Live car position tracking for security and other finding my car.
Requirements:
  • Raspberry Pi 3B or higher (Raspberry Pi 4B is recommended)
  • At least 3A charger with a type B micro USB end. (OpenAuto Pro requires more with more USB peripherals connected and still showing the lightening flash on the touchscreen with 3.1A)
  • SD card (at least 8 GB) and the OpenAuto Pro preloaded on it using the Etcher or the official Imager software.
  • Standard HDMI cable (the one comes with touchscreen will do just fine).
  • External USB sound card.
  • Lapel mic (nick mic) stereo and not mono as mono won’t work
  • 2 auxiliary cables of good quality
  • 2 extra USB-A to micro USB-B cables for the Raspberry Pi and the phone.
  • 7-inch touchscreen for Raspberry Pi
  • Bluetooth dongle that supports HFP/HSP and A2DP bluetooth profiles is preferred but not mandatory, a normal Bluetooth dongle will work in my setup.
  • An old Android phone that is Android Auto capable.
  • Multi-SIM card with same number (This provides calling functionality and Internet)
  • Tasker app to automate things.
  • Audio splitter (2-femal to 1 Male).  
  • Contacts Sync App from Google Play store.
Challenges:
  • I bought a cheap CSR bluetooth dongle that doesn’t support the HFP/HSP profiles for making and receiving calls it’s known that it has issues with OpenAuto Pro. However, that was the only one among other unknown brands available in the market in my country, the known to work Panda brand is not available, so there was no guarantee that other ones will work. However if you can get one that support HFP/HSP and A2DP you will save the second AUX leg, so only one AUX cable is required in this case.
  • Second, I am an iPhoner and I want to stick to my iPhone.
  • I had to have something that keeps my contacts on both phones the Android and my iPhone in sync otherwise only the callers’ phone numbers will display without names identifying who is calling.
  • The Android phone use (Huawei Y5 Prime 2018) runs Android Ore 8.1 with the latest security patch (no root) and doesn’t natively support Android Auto, so I had to download and install Android Auto from external sources (APK mirror) though this still have defeats and somehow slow performance but it did the job for me, maybe yours will do better.
Setup

In my setup there are two auxiliary cables (Legs) coming out of the system, the first leg is from the external USB sound card and this will handle the voice commands, Google Assistant responses, music and media outputs, while the other cable coming out of the phone socket will be dedicated to calling and to put this into work you need to disable "Calls" in the bluetooth settings of the Android phone after pairing and keep "Sharing Contacts" and "Media". 

Using an old Android phone will avoid us the hassle of testing multiple bluetooth dongles that don’t support HFP/HSP profiles that won’t work in most scenarios, it will act as our phone server for making and receiving phone calls. 

I have setup Tasker profile to switch to my second SIM card once bluetooth is connected when the OpenAuto Pro boots (to make it the default for receiving calls, a second SIM is already capable of making calls, send text messages, and internet).

I have also setup the ContactSync app to automatically sync my contacts from iCloud to the Android Gmail account registered on the Android phone. (This app is free for up to 40 contacts however you would need to upgrade to the premium for the auto-sync to work, it’s such a great app and I highly recommend it, but you can always use your favorite.
  • Connect the HDMI port on the Raspberry Pi to the HDMi port on touchscreen using the HDMi cable.
  • Connect the micro-USB port in the touchscreen to one of the USB-A ports on the Raspberry Pi.
  • Connect the charger micro-USB type B to the powering socket on the Raspberry Pi.
  • Connect the external USB sound card to the Raspberry Pi and connect the mic and one AUX cable to it.
  • Connect the second micro-USB cable to the phone and the USB-A to the Pi, this is more stable for Android Auto than the bluetooth.
  • Connect the bluetooth dongle to the fourth USB port on the Pi.
  • Connect the second AUX cable to the phone audio output.
  • Connect both AUX cables to the AUX audio splitter then to the car AUX socket as input to your car sound system/speaker.
With this Setup I ended up with a system that worked fine to my needs providing the required functionality with a standalone Android Auto support that triggers automatically based on my OpenAuto Pro settings with turn by turn navigation (Google Maps or Waze) and voice commands, music (Spotify or Google music if it works in your country) that is controlled by voice commands and touchscreen and starts automatically based on my Tasker profile setup. The Android phone acts as a phone/calling and contacts server manager with Tasker switching automatically between my two SIMs every time my OpenAuto Pro launches, it act as a car security spot tracking solution, contacts syncs automatically between my phones using the Contacts Sync app, with the ability to make and receive calls from the Pi screen with caller number and name displayed so no need to fully switch to Android, now I can keep my iPhone.
Not sure I follow you here. So, what functionality do you have with your iphone through OAP? Are you saying the Android phone syncs your contacts, etc from your iphone to OAP and acts as a server that allows you to make/receive calls on OAP through your iphone?
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#3
No. iPhone is not part of the system, it is just needed to install the Contacts Sync app. This is a completely dedicated system that should work if you have iPhone and want to keep it without trying to connect it to the OAP and get near working functions/system, with this system all you need is to sync your contacts from iPhone using the Contacts Sync app on your iPhone, there is no need even to have it while in the car that's why you have a second SIM.

Update:

Though I understand your concerns and I've read your great posts and your tries to connect iPhone, I am not trying to put the system to work with iPhone, it's a pretty more working solution for non-android users who can afford old/cheap Android phone, though it would be awesome to get it work straight forward once iphone is connected. The defeat to my setup is that the car should be personal because this setup only works with your phone or more specifically your contacts. it's  pointless to connect your wife phone unless it's an Android phone with built-in support for Android Auto.
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#4
(06-08-2020, 12:59 AM)Basem Wrote: No. iPhone is not part of the system, it is just needed to install the Contacts Sync app. This is a completely dedicated system that should work if you have iPhone and want to keep it without trying to connect it to the OAP and get near working functions/system, with this system all you need is to sync your contacts from iPhone using the Contacts Sync app on your iPhone, there is no need even to have it while in the car that's why you have a second SIM.

Update:

Though I understand your concerns and I've read your great posts and your tries to connect iPhone, I am not trying to put the system to work with iPhone, it's a pretty more working solution for non-android users who can afford old/cheap Android phone, though it would be awesome to get it work straight forward once iphone is connected. The defeat to my setup is that the car should be personal because this setup only works with your phone or more specifically your contacts. it's  pointless to connect your wife phone unless it's an Android phone with built-in support for Android Auto.
I suppose you realize that with a bluetooth dongle and a couple settings, the iphone will connect automatically whenever it gets close enough, sync contacts and call history, make and receive calls, and even stream music. The only functionality that wasn't there was the navigation/gps.
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#5
Yes, though I only tried it once and the contacts didn't sync (even with the sync-contacts enabled under iPhone's bluetooth settings), I didn't tinker with it, maybe I miss something else, the dialer look and the interface in general is another big issue (it's been built to run android auto anyway, so that's is acceptable). However, navigation is still important on the big screen plus I wanted to install a permanent and standalone system, yet the find my phone (car) feature is extra to track/find my car location. I do not like to use external/offline navigations modules/maps and the extra setup like Navit. I do not know a lot about how it works in my region, but live traffic is important to my everyday commute. I use iPhone as a contacts server only, I update 'em from there and the app syncs automatically to my car silently in the background. that way I do not even bother to connect/disconnect my phone each time while in my car with more luxury. to be honest I do not propose this as a solution for iPhone, this is my setup anyway and it works!
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