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Car Wi-Fi Hotspot and its Benefits

Jan. 17, 2017, 11:03 a.m.

Many tables and laptops (or other devices), do not have an internet connection, which limits their use when out of Wi-Fi range. Since the AutoPi is always online, it can be configured as a mobile hots...

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Eco Driving

Jan. 17, 2017, 11:03 a.m.

Many drivers do not realize the amount of money they could save, by changing their driving behavior. Since gear and RPM position is available through the AutoPi, it would be possible to create a syste...

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Cabin Overheat Protection

Studies show that on a hot summer day the temperature inside your vehicle will rise dramatically within just 10 minutes after you parked. reports that with an outside temperature of 27 C (80 F), the inside temperature could rise to as high as 37 C (99 F) after just 10 minutes.

The inside of your car becomes an oven roasting your interior. The sun will permanently damage the color and look of everything it touches, thereby degrading the value of your car.

Often people tend to leave their pets (or even children) in the car during the summer, if they just have a “short” appointment.

With the AutoPi Telematics Unit, it would be possible to design a system to automatically open the windows a little bit (like 5 cm) given a certain temperature inside the car. It would then be possible to automatically close it again, once the temperature drops.

A showcase of car windows going down when the temperature within the car exceeds

How to do it?

We have also written an article about this specific problem. You can find there a detailed explanation on what to do and actual pictures as examples. Read the article here

Simply choose the feature (add-on) you want to have and click on install. As easy as it sounds. In case you want to know more or are struggling with installation, please contact

Benefits of cabin overheat protection

This feature can literally save your pet during hot summer days. Even though this feature should definitely help your pet to stay safe, we do not recommend leaving your pet inside the vehicle during hot summer days.

The inside temperature can rise drastically in just 10 minutes and the consequences can be still fatal. While it’s a very helpful feature for your pet, it also helps to lower the inside temperature for you before entering the vehicle.

On top of that, it can help you even if you do not have a pet in your car. The windows can be automatically lowered down a bit, based on the temperature in your car. That can help to not exceed high temperature within your car. 

Creating a Car Overheating Protection system

By creating a system that automatically lowers the windows in your car slightly, when the temperature gets too high, you can vent out the cabin and make sure the temperature inside is not significantly higher than the outside temperature.

This system could automatically ensure that the windows is not opened before a certain temperature is measured, and thereby not letting cold air out of a just parked car.

A zoomed in photo of a blue car explaining how can autopi control the car window
Controlling the car window

Since the AutoPi dongle has the possibility to connect external equipment or sensors, it is possible to connect an USB temperature sensor to it.

Any sensor will do, but an example is this USB temperature sensors from Yocto. It is very tiny and its location can easily be moved to the best location inside your vehicle.

A detailed picture of a yocto temperature sensor
Yocto Temperature Sensor

The temperature sensor is the only external equipment you will need to create your own Cabin Overheating protection system.

Once the temperature sensor is connected to the AutoPi, it is easy to install your own software through the module configuration in the AutoPi Dashboard. It is even possible to find existing software modules through the AutoPi Dashboard.

An example of a custom code configuration in AutoPi cloud
AutoPi Cloud custom code configuration

The software modules are configured through your AutoPi Dashboard and when ready they are uploaded and installed automatically to the AutoPi dongle in your car.

You can even write your own Python code in the built-in IDE (Integrated Development Environment). The IDE will do basic syntax/code checks before uploading. 

When ready, you can set up the system to control the cabin temperature, by opening one or more windows a few centimeters. This will allow the very hot air inside the car to be ventilated out and thereby lowering the inside temperature.

You can even setup the system to close your windows again, once the temperature drops to a desired level. Once the system starts ventilating, notifications can be send your phone giving you real-time alerts. 

The general idea of the entire system is shown here below. The temperature sensor connects to the AutoPi dongle through USB. The AutoPi dongle controls the vehicle through the OBD port and sends information to the AutoPi cloud dashboard.

From the AutoPi cloud dashboard, system status information is passed on to the user, either using alerts like SMS or on the personal dashboard available on all devices.

An illustration of how can AutoPi help with overheating of the car
AutoPi cabin overheating protection flow overview

The AutoPi Core is the system running on the AutoPi Dongle. This system ensures communication between all peripheral units and the AutoPi Cloud Dashboard.

The core will collect measurements from the USB thermometer and trigger the OBD connection to the vehicle on the right times, ensuring that the windows are controlled. From the Cloud Dashboard it is possible to setup and configure your system to match your needs. 

The flow of the system would be:

  • Temperature is measured using the attached sensor. This is picked up by the AutoPi dongle.
  • Temperature is checked against rules predefined by the user.
  • If the temperature is too high, the window is lowered slightly to allow colder air to get into the car.
  • A messages is sent to the user of the car, informing about the preventive measures done by the AutoPi system.
  • When the temperature drops inside the car, the window is closed again.

The AutoPi dongle communicates with the vehicle through the built in OBD port. To control the windows, the AutoPi dongle uses the CAN bus in the car to communicate with the ECU inside the car. The system will communicate with the temperature sensor using a serial connection. 

We hope this gives you an idea of what you can do with your AutoPi system. Is possible to connect a lot of different sensors and subsystems to your AutoPi and use these to build great things for your vehicle.

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