Project image
)}
AU$ 7,025
pledged of AU$ 100,000pledged of AU$ 100,000 goal
21
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jul 20 2015

Conrod: Apps for Your Car (Canceled)

Connected app device with optional 3.2" display for VW, Audi and VW Group vehicles. GPS tracker, fuel log, lap timer and much more.

Conrod: Apps for Your Car (Canceled)

Connected app device with optional 3.2" display for VW, Audi and VW Group vehicles. GPS tracker, fuel log, lap timer and much more.

AU$ 7,025
pledged of AU$ 100,000pledged of AU$ 100,000 goal
21
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jul 20 2015

About

Conrod is the world's first fully programmable, connected app platform for your car.

More than just a data logger or diagnostic tool, Conrod provides you with the means to fully customize how you interact with your car, adding features and options that the factory never dreamt of.

Log your driving data to the cloud. Re-configure your steering wheel buttons. Set smart speed alerts. Roll your windows from your iPhone on the other side of the world.

Upgrade your dash LCD display to a full-colour display, add a separate display to your car or just customise what appears on your factory MFD. Control the display from the factory steering wheel buttons. Monitor vehicle data, time your laps, record your drag strip PBs.

Write your own apps to control and customise your car, or download new apps from the Conrod App Store.

Conrod will even ship with an Apple Watch app, allowing you to control your car remotely from your wrist!  Check it out for yourself in our demo video.

It's all possible with Conrod.

Compatible with

What is Conrod?

Conrod is a powerful hardware device that connects directly into your vehicle's control network, allowing you to access and control almost every component in your car.

Conrod interfaces to your car using the VW CAN Bus platform, as found in almost every VW Group vehicle since 2004. Every major vehicle system throughout the car communicates over the CAN Bus, and Conrod is able to decode and manipulate those messages to change the way your car operates.

Conrod can function as a stand-alone device, or you can add a 3G SIM and take advantage of Conrod's on-board Cellular modem to connect your car to the internet from anywhere you've got 3G coverage. For situations where 3G connectivity is not available, Conrod can also connect to your smartphone or tablet using its Bluetooth 4.0 connection.

Conrod & your factory MFD

Conrod can display app data on your factory MFD (supported models only).
Conrod can display app data on your factory MFD (supported models only).

Conrod is capable of writing custom application data directly to the factory MFD / MFA in a range of supported VW and Audi vehicles, providing you with a factory-fitted window to display data from any of Conrod's apps.  Conrod can display vehicle data such as oil and transmission temperatures and A/F ratios, or write your own Conrod app to view weather forecasts, Tweets or any other information pulled down via Conrod's cellular data connection.

For a list of vehicles that support the Conrod factory MFD output please check our website at http://getrod.com.

The Conrod Display

Conrod Display fitted in VW Mk5 Golf
Conrod Display fitted in VW Mk5 Golf

If your car isn't on the supported list for factory MFD integration, you would prefer to view Conrod's apps on a dedicated display (as you would with a stand-alone lap timer or data logger), or you want to upgrade your stock MFD to something much nicer, you can add the optional Conrod 3.2" full colour touchscreen display.

The Conrod Display comes in a self-contained case with GoPro mounting points, allowing you to secure it in your car using any GoPro compatible mount.

In certain models (currently VW Mk5 and Mk6 Golf, and their Bora, Passat, Jetta and Tiguan derivatives), the Conrod Display can be supplied with a customised fascia allowing the display to be installed directly into the dash cluster. The factory cluster and standard MFD remain intact, with the Conrod Display fitted neatly over the top, so you can easily return your car to stock at any time.

In cars with multi-function steering wheels, the wheel buttons are used to control the Conrod Display in the same way you'd control the standard VW MFD. When mounted using the self-contained case, the Conrod Display is controlled by the touch screen on the display itself.

Included Apps

Conrod's standard apps fall into two categories - apps that run purely in your car to add or customise features, and apps that connect your car to the world to share data and add remote control capabilities.

Smart Speed Alerts

Conrod comes pre-installed with our Smart Speed Alert app, which constantly monitors your vehicle's speed. When a certain speed is exceeded, it can send an email or text message alert to your phone, log the event for future review or take action directly in the car itself (for example muting the in-car entertainment system or playing a warning chime).

Fuel Economy Tracker

How you drive has a large impact on your fuel burn. Conrod can track fuel consumption with data such as acceleration and RPM, showing you areas to improve in.

Unlike simpler fuel tracking devices, Conrod features GPS, accelerometer and gyroscope sensors which allow you to make more informed decisions about your fuel usage.

Logic Blocks

Logic Blocks is a simple yet extremely powerful way to customise the functionality of your car. Using the Conrod configuration app (available for iOS and Android), you can define your own input and output actions and completely change the way your car operates. Not sure what can be done? How about these examples:

  • IF car is locked using the remote THEN roll up all the windows. 
  • IF indicator stalk is tapped briefly THEN flash the indicator 3 times (lane change indicator). 
  • IF brake pedal pressed THEN beep the horn (your mates will love that one!). 
  • IF steering wheel * button is pressed THEN send an email to a pre-configured address with your GPS location. 
  • IF we post a new Tweet about Conrod THEN display a summary on the Conrod Display in your car. 

The power of Logic Blocks is you can configure the app however you like. Any input can be connected to any output, meaning you can setup your car to operate pretty much however you like.

Developers

The Conrod platform is designed specifically to help you get your great app ideas into everyone's cars.

Conrod's rules-based development tool (Logic Blocks) is the easiest way to build and share apps with other Conrod users. Building apps to run on Conrod is as simple as defining the rules and actions that your app will perform, and providing a HTML based interface for installation and configuration. Logic Blocks provides you with access to all of Conrod's IO, including vehicle data, on-board sensors (GPS, accelerometer and gyroscope) and internet connectivity. It's free to distribute your own apps on the Conrod App Store, and anyone with Conrod can install your apps simply by selecting them using the Conrod configuration application on their iOS or Android smartphone.

If you're looking to build more complex apps to run on Conrod, a low-level API will be available allowing you to install your own app binaries directly onto Conrod, to run with our existing firmware and apps. The API also allows access to a number of hardware serial interfaces on a convenient external connector, and a suite of digital and analogue IO pins directly on the Conrod board.

Alternatively, Conrod is fully Arduino compatible and the Conrod board is the ultimate hardware platform for in-car applications. If you don't want access to any of Conrod's great software features in your application you can simply re-flash the board with your own custom code. The Conrod firmware is always freely available to download should you wish to revert your Conrod board to standard operation in the future.

What you could build with Conrod.

Inside Conrod

Top side of Conrod board.
Top side of Conrod board.
Bottom side of Conrod board.
Bottom side of Conrod board.
Conrod v1.1 Prototype Board
Conrod v1.1 Prototype Board

The Rewards

There are 2 main versions of Conrod we're offering up as rewards to our backers:

  • Conrod Device 
  • Conrod Device with 3.2" Display 

All backers at the $249 AUD level and above will receive a Conrod device complete with hard-wired installation cable, the Conrod configuration app for iOS or Android and instructions to get Conrod installed and running in your car. The hard-wired cable requires some soldering or splicing and we suggest an experienced DIY or professional mechanic or auto electrician perform the installation.

The standard Conrod device can output data to the factory MFD/MFA/Dash LCD in supported vehicles, and you can also monitor vehicle and app data using the Conrod configuration app for iOS and Android smartphones.

A Plug & Play cable is available as an additional reward tier, allowing Conrod to be easily installed and removed from a vehicle without soldering or cutting factory wires. The Plug & Play cable is only available for certain vehicles - please check our compatibility page at http://getrod.com for more information.

Any of the Conrod device tiers can be upgraded to include the additional 3.2" full colour display, plus all the apps that require the display (such as in-car data display and the motorsport timers). The display comes in a small case with GoPro compatible mounting points, so you can install it anywhere in your car using any GoPro mounting system (not included). The display can also be removed from the case if you want to DIY a custom installation.

For certain vehicles you can swap the separate display case with a custom fascia to integrate the display into your vehicle's OEM dash cluster, sitting over the factory LCD display that came with your car. A list of vehicles that we've built custom fascias for can be found on our compatibility page at http://getrod.com.

Early bird backers receive a $70 AUD discount on their choice of package (stand-alone Conrod or Conrod + Display) plus a free Plug & Play cable.

Please Note: Conrod requires a 2G/3G SIM and data service for internet connectivity, which is not included with the device.

Where We're Up To

Conrod has been in development since January 2015, and we've already built some pretty solid prototypes. We've got displays running in Mk5 and Mk6 VW Golfs, Beetle and Up!, and we've tested our boards in a number of other VW, Audi and Lamborghini models.

Our final hardware design and components are pretty much locked down and we're getting very close to being able to start production of those, and we've designed and 3D printed prototype cases and fascias for the Conrod board and the 3.2" display.

Our biggest next-step is to develop all the software that turns those prototypes into the fully-fledged Conrod app platform. There's software for the board itself (the apps that run in your car), our Cloud-based configuration & logging system and the iOS and Android apps that allow you to setup your Conrod board and install new apps.

Delivery Plan

July - Kickstarter campaign, lock in production numbers and variants.

August - Finalise design of hardware, build foundations of software stack (firmware, over the air update procedures).

September - Continue developing software, particularly CAN decoders and logic blocks. Lock down hardware ready for manufacture.

October - Order hardware components & assemble boards. Manufacture display enclosures. Build mobile software and out of the box applications.

November - Hardware production, software testing.

December - Conrod ships to our wonderful backers!

Team

James Hodge

James started as a software developer in the 1990s, and for the last decade has been Director of a Mobile App development company with staff spread across Australia and the US. James is responsible for development of the Conrod software and falls asleep dreaming of CAN data packets to decode.

Kevin Atkinson

Kevin is an information technology industry veteran and visual developer, with a passion for gaming engines, Virtual Reality platforms and PC-based sim-racing. Kevin develops the interfaces for Conrod, from the logos and icons in our configuration App to the screens and layouts on our custom in-car displays. He also helps out with coding from time to time.

Lochie Ferrier

Lochie is Conrod's hardware prodigy, with a knack for turning design requirements into electrical schematics and minuscule traces of conductive metals. His list of past projects is extensive, though we usually just point out that the last piece of hardware he built is now orbiting Earth on the International Space Station. Lochie designs and builds the hardware brains behind Conrod.

Will it work with my car?

The CAN components that Conrod talks to are used fairly commonly across models in the VW group. With certain exceptions, if you have a VW Group car built in the last 10 years then Conrod will be compatible with your car.

If you have a query about a specific vehicle please contact us and we'll look into compatibility.

A constantly updated list of compatible vehicles is available on our webpage at http://getrod.com.

How is Conrod different from a regular OBD2 dongle?

Comparison of Conrod vs Typical OBD2 Dongles
Comparison of Conrod vs Typical OBD2 Dongles

If you're into cars, you've probably heard of OBD2. It's a US Government mandated connector and diagnostics standard built into most cars made in the last 15 years. OBD2 is also simple and easy to implement, which means there are dozens of dongles and adapters that connect to an OBD2 port and share data with a smart phone or in-car device.

The catch is that OBD2 is extremely limited. You can read basic engine data and in some cases check and reset engine light and service warnings, but that's about it. If you want to read data about non-engine systems, or actually control any of your car's systems, then OBD2 is of no use.

CAN, or Car/Controller Area Network, is a whole other story. CAN is how most vehicle manufacturers connect all the electronic components in the car, from engine management to window switches, central locking, entertainment systems and steering wheel controls. If an OBD2 connector allows you to look at some rings through the jewellery shop window, CAN opens the door to the whole diamond mine and hands you a bucket.

Unlike OBD2, which is an open standard that anyone can read about, the CAN protocols used by specific vehicle manufacturers is not public information, and each manufacturer uses a different CAN language. We've spent thousands of hours decoding the CAN protocols in recent VW Group vehicles to enable Conrod to communicate with the CAN networks as if it was installed by the factory itself.

Most VW Group vehicles built since 2004 run 5 separate CAN Buses to separate out different types of information - for example, so the Engine Management computer doesn't get flooded with irrelevant messages about the state of the power windows. Through no coincidence, Conrod comes with five separate CAN controllers of its own, allowing it to directly interface to all CAN systems in VW Group cars.

For safety reasons however, Conrod is not able to make changes to factory locked and encrypted components (such as the ECU or ABS controllers).

Risks and challenges

Manufacturing any product can be a tricky process. Many Kickstarter projects in the past have set ambitious schedules and then failed to fulfill orders on time due to running into manufacturing problems.

We face the same risks as other projects, such as supply chain failures, manufacturing errors or unexpected R&D difficulties.

Actions that we have taken to minimize risk:

- Development of working, manufacturable prototype prior to Kickstarter launch. We've got actual Conrod boards and displays running in multiple vehicles, so we know we can build what we've set out to achieve.

- Arranging an assembly house prior to launch.

- Using popular, easily replaceable componentry throughout the device. For many of the components, if all supply chains fail, another component can be substituted without any performance loss.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1 or more About $1

    Conrod Supporter!

    We'll keep you updated with all Conrod updates and you'll be eligible for a range of Supporter-only benefits along the way. We'll also include your name or business on our Supporters page.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    AU$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 30 or more About $21

    Rock your Conrod!

    All the benefits of being a Conrod Supporter, plus a Conrod t-shirt to show your support to the world.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    AU$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 249 or more About $172

    Conrod Device - Early Bird Supporter

    1 Conrod device at an extra special Early Bird discount!

    Includes BOTH the hard-wired cable and a Plug & Play cable at no extra cost as a special thanks for being an early backer!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 9 backers
    AU$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 319 or more About $220

    Conrod Device with Hard-Wired Cable

    1 Conrod device, with hard-wired cable for installation into your vehicle (experienced DIY or professional installation suggested).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    AU$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 349 or more About $241

    Conrod Device with Plug & Play Cable

    1 Conrod device, with Plug & Play Cable to make installation and removal a breeze in supported vehicles.

    Please check our main page for a list of supported vehicles for the Plug & Play cable, or contact us for more information.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    AU$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 625 or more About $430

    Conrod Device with 3.2" Display - Early Bird Supporter

    1 Conrod device with the 3.2" full colour display. Includes the stand-alone display with GoPro mounting points OR a custom fascia for integration into the dash cluster of supported vehicles.

    Includes BOTH the hard-wired cable and a Plug & Play cable at no extra cost as a special thanks for being an early backer!

    Please check our main page for a list of supported vehicles for the custom dash fascia, or contact us for more information.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    AU$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 699 or more About $481

    Conrod Device with 3.2" Display with Hard-Wired cable.

    1 Conrod device with the 3.2" full colour display. Includes the stand-alone display with GoPro mounting points OR a custom fascia for integration into the dash cluster of supported vehicles.

    Includes hard-wired cable for installation into your vehicle (experienced DIY or professional installation suggested).

    Please check our main page for a list of supported vehicles for the custom dash fascia, or contact us for more information.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    AU$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 729 or more About $502

    Conrod Device with 3.2" Display with Plug & Play Cable

    1 Conrod device with the 3.2" full colour display. Includes the stand-alone display with GoPro mounting points OR a custom fascia for integration into the dash cluster of supported vehicles.

    Includes Plug & Play Cable to make installation and removal a breeze in supported vehicles.

    Please check our main page for a list of supported vehicles for the custom dash fascia, or contact us for more information.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    AU$

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (37 days)