An EcoCAR Center Stack Becomes a Senior Design Project at RHIT

Ruben Rodriguez is a senior Computer Science major at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Growing up, Ruben enjoyed playing video games and was fascinated by how games worked and how they were made. His interest in video games encouraged him to pursue a degree in computer science at Rose-Hulman.

Ruben joined the RHIT EcoCAR 2 team in November of 2012 while looking to complete a Senior Design Project. For his senior project, Ruben worked with RHIT’s Freescale-donated center stack. He teamed up with three fellow CS seniors, Trevor Krenz, Matthew Iwema and Mark Wlodarski.

The center stack senior design project was based around creating a user interface for the vehicle’s touch screen. The goal of the center stack is to replace the radio and HVAC controls. This will allow the driver to control the radio, adjust climate control and see the vehicle’s status through the touch screen implementation.

Originally, Ruben’s team was going to use Linux as the operating system for the center stack and install Elektrobit’s EB Guide user interface creation software. After much debate, however, they decided to use QNX as the operating system. QNX supplied the team with a premade user interface that could be modified instead of starting from scratch. The use of the QNX operating system led to a smoother development process.

When asked about his experience through EcoCAR 2, Ruben said, “I have had incredible real-world training by not only using software, but by maintaining and creating relationships with clients.”

Ruben graduated this May. His hope for the center stack is that it will be successfully implemented with a user-friendly interface for the driver.