Home automation is hardly a new concept, but sometimes you have to get creative to automate your desired features. Thankfully, there are tons of tools to choose from, and Richard from the YouTube channel Break It Yourself knows just what to look for. Using our favorite SBC, the Raspberry Pi, he’s automatically started his car on cold days.
According to Richard, the issue began when he couldn’t always remember to start his car on cold mornings. Sure, you can automate something like this with Alexa, but he needed the car to start itself without the need to remember the command. That’s where Pi comes into play. Using Home Assistant, he’s created a system that will trigger his car to start on mornings when the temperature gets too low.
A few boards are used in this project, and a custom rig that interfaces with his car keys. The Raspberry Pi communicates with an ESP32 wirelessly, which is responsible for initiating the command to start the car. For a little extra fun, some of the code used in the project was written using ChatGPT, although some adjustments were made to get it just right.
Richard created a custom rig out of wood that holds his car keys. The fob must be positioned just right so the button can be accessed from the underside. An ESP32 is attached and is responsible for triggering the button physically, which tells the car to start. ChatGPT created the script that triggers the button presses necessary to start the vehicle remotely.
The Raspberry Pi runs Home Assistant, which is connected wirelessly to the ESP32. To automate the function, a trigger is set to start the car once the temperature drops below a certain temperature — but only on certain days at certain times. The trigger runs the ChatGPT-generated script on the ESP32, which then presses the button on his key fob.
If you want to see this Raspberry Pi project in action or just get a better idea of how it goes together, check out the original video shared on YouTube, and be sure to follow Break It Yourself for more cool projects as well as any future updates on this one.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.