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Adding Android Auto To 453

Modification Details




Adding Android Auto To A Non Android Auto Smart 453

This adds Android Auto, Mirrorlink, Siri & Google Assistant

Neelfyn had been tinkering around with this for quite a few days and thought it'd be useful to share,
as the little information he could find online on this was about Renault cars, and not the smart.

Neelfyn's Original Post

I was looking at the Android Auto website recently and I saw that the 2017 smarts are compatible with it. Since the head unit looks exactly the same as in the previous years' models, it got me wondering if something could be done for those as well.

After some research, the smart Media-System is basically a rebranded R-Link device, and my understanding is that the newer smarts have a version that's called "R-Link Evolution", which is the one compatible with Android Auto. I haven't had the chance to play around with one of those yet, so I'm unsure if there are any actual hardware differences between the two, but I suspect that they both run the exact same software and only have a different configuration.

Anyway, if the built-in TomTom map's coverage sucks in your area, you'll be happy to know that you can in fact run Google Maps or Waze in Android Auto on your smart Media-System, even if your dealership/TomTom/smart is telling you it's impossible.

You can also use Mirrorlink (for the 2 people in the world who actually use it), and perhaps most importantly, replace the crappy built-in voice recognition with Siri or Google Assistant. "Siri, play the road trip playlist" or "Navigate to the nearest gas station" can now be a thing by pressing and holding the voice button on the steering wheel, yup!

Usual Boring Disclaimer

I'm not responsible if your car stops working, your head unit blows up, global warming gets worse, or anything else happens if you follow these instructions. This is what worked for me on multiple occasions; your mileage may vary.

Pre-requisites

2015 or 2016 smart 453

Built-in smart Media-System

An ELM327 OBD2 diagnostics adapter. It can be either USB or WiFi, but it specifically needs
to have an original PIC18F25K80 chip, also sometimes labeled as 25K80. I'm using 
this one



If you get some knock-off copy, there is a chance it might not work. Search for the chip numbers above.

Laptop running Windows, macOS, or Linux

The DDT4All software that you can download here. I've used version 1.3.

A DDT2000 database of Renault vehicles that you will need to source yourself.



You don't need the actual software, just the database. I've used the one from August 2017.

Android 5+ phone (or iPhone if you're only doing this for Siri)
USB cable to plug the phone into the car

Updating The Smart Media-System

Your smart Media-System should be running the latest firmware. You can find the version number under
Menu > System > Status & Information > Version information > next to "Application".
As of June 2018, the latest version is 11.343.

Presumably, the Android Auto feature was introduced in one of the updates that came out in 2017,
so perhaps it could work with 11.342 or even 11.341, but no guarantee. If you've never
updated your smart Media-System since you got the car, you definitely need to do it.

To update the smart Media-System, you need to install TomTom MyDrive Connect on your computer
and plug the SD memory card from your car into your computer. Make sure to eject it safely first,
using the option "Remove SD-card" under Menu > System.

Depending on the version that the Media-System is running, MyDrive Connect might ask you to install Smart Media Connect instead. I haven't figured out the exact conditions that are required, so you might just have to try both. It's also worth noting that the version number of the update displayed on your computer will be different to the one displayed in your car, so if it says you're downloading version 11.329, that'll actually show up as 11.343 in the version information screen in your car.

Once it downloaded the update onto the memory card, plug it back into your car, and the Media-System will ask you
if you want to install it. Select "yes", and it'll start doing its thing. In my experience, it takes about 40 minutes.

As a side note, if you no longer have the original memory card that came with the car, or another memory card with the TomTom map on it, it is actually possible to create a new one from scratch (in a perfectly legal way) without shelling out the couple hundred bucks your dealership will try to charge you for a new one. I'm happy to write something up if anyone's interested.

Installing The Software On Your Computer

Now that your smart Media-System is running the latest version, install DDT4All on your laptop.

On Windows it's only a matter of running the installer. On Mac and Linux,
you'll need to download the sources instead, and install QT4. For example, on Debian/Ubuntu
you'd do something like apt-get install python-qt4, and on Mac, with Homebrew installed,
you could run brew install cartr/qt4/pyqt in a Terminal.

Take the ecus folder from the DDT2000 database and copy it into either C:\Program Files\ddt4all\ 
on Windows, or into the same folder as the source on Mac and Linux.

In Your Car

Plug the ELM327 into the OBD2 port. It has a gray lid and is located on the left side of the
driver's footwell. Make sure your SD card is still inserted in its slot, and start the car.

If you've got the USB version of the ELM327, plug it into your computer, or connect to the network of the WiFi version.

Then, launch DDT4All (Windows: it's at C:\Program Files\ddt4all\DDT4ALL.BAT, Mac/Linux: cd 
into the source folder and run python ddt4all.py). If you're using the USB version, choose it in
the list at the top, and select the left-most icon below. For WiFi, simply select the WiFi icon.

Check the "I'm aware that I can harm my car if badly used" checkbox, and click Connected mode.

On the top left, in the dropdown with Renault cars, select X07 - TWINGO III. In the box below that, scroll down to Navigation and expand it, then double-click MFD v4.6, and double-click again on [ Navigation ] MFD v4.6 in the box underneath.

Then, in the Screens box below the previous one, expand 1 - Configuration, and click on 13 - ECU configuration - ADAS, HVAC, TCU, Telematics, EV, Engine, Vehicle & ECU.

At the top of your screen, click the Einstein icon ("Expert mode"), and make sure After sales mode is selected in the dropdown to the right of it.

Click the "Screen" tab near the top of the window, and scroll all the way down to the "ECU configuration" section. Select Present instead of Not present in the dropdowns next to:

SPVR for iPhone
Android Auto feature
Mirrorlink feature
SPVR for other Phones
Then, scroll right and click on the yellow Write ECU config button.


You'll see a few lines appear at the bottom of the window.

Once it's done, press the home button on the smart Media-System five times, and wait for it to restart.
Then, when you go into Menu > System, you should see a new option called Smartphone Screen.



It contains some settings as to whether Android Auto should start automatically, etc.




Phone Usage

On your phone, install the Android Auto app from the Play store if you haven't already, and make sure that Google Maps (or Waze) is up-to-date. Open the app, plug the phone into the USB port on your car, and the smart Media-System should prompt you to start Android Auto. Congratz!

For Siri, ensure your iPhone is paired with the car via Bluetooth, and that the car isn't connected to an Android phone at the same time (either via USB or Bluetooth). Press and hold the voice button on your steering wheel (simply pressing it will bring up the crappy built-in voice control), and after a couple of seconds you'll hear the Siri "ding", at which point you can talk to it like you normally would.

I think it's also interesting to note that as an iPhone user myself, I use an old Android phone exclusively for navigation, but all my music is still on the iPhone. The car can be simultaneously connected to the iPhone via Bluetooth and play its music, as well as the Android phone via USB and Bluetooth for Android Auto, and the voice directions will still play through the car's speakers. In this case, the voice command button on the steering wheel will be working with the Android phone, so you can use it for navigation, but not to control the music on the iPhone.

Extra

If DDT4All freezes during one of the steps before getting to the screen that contains the actual settings to be
changed, it's likely that the ELM327 adapter being used is a knockoff without an original 25K80 chip. The best way
to check is to simply open the adapter up and see if the chip is in there. They don't necessarily all look the same. 

When it comes to compatible adapters, I've also had one report of success using a Bluetooth one, but apparently getting it paired with the computer was tricky. WiFi is still a bit more straightforward than USB as depending on your OS and configuration, as a USB serial driver may need to be installed manually (and it's not always obvious which).
Finally, I don't think the following is an issue that's specific to the smart Media-System or this tutorial, but a couple of people were getting a black screen after plugging in their Android phone. In two cases this was solved by installing updates via the Play Store (Android Auto, Google Maps, etc.), other people simply ended up using a different phone.

Original Reddit Post

Can be seen here.


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