I Run A Movie Server In My Car

Emby gives the server a clean interface

I run a server out of my 2005 Volvo XC90.  2005 was not a year that Volvo thought of putting a server in the car.  So I’ve done the engineering work for them.  This solution lets kids use their own devices to choose their content.  That ability to choose allows them to feel more like they’re in control and less like they’re caged in the car.

The version in the video uses an old laptop.  Now the solution uses a Raspberry Pi.  You’ll also see in the video how I’ve intentionally not automated some things to force my kids to learn how to use the command line.  


To this date I don’t know of any car manufacturer that installs servers in their vehicles for media consumption.

Part of what I’ve learned from the project is that IoE and IoT devices shouldn’t be designed to be completely dependent upon the internet as lack of connection can cause them to be useless.  I discovered this first with my Chromecast.  I put it on a closed LAN without access to the internet only to realize that it had to handshake with Google to work.

That was a sad day.

If you’re going to build something for IoE or IoT, make sure it doesn’t turn into a brick when it’s non connected.  Otherwise Microsoft might just hire Pawn Stars to make a commercial about it.  

What device would you like to have in your car?   Leave a comment below.