Feeds

Microsoft tarts up custom Mustang Muscle Microserfmobile

For the geek who has everything (except taste)

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

For the last few months, Microsoft has been working with auto shop West Coast Customs to build the ultimate Windows-powered muscle car, and have taken the design so far that even the most ostentatious rapper might say "Steady on," possibly adding a "Yo" or two.

The team of mechanics took an off-the-shelf 2012 Mustang and stripped off the body, replaced it with a replica of the classic 1967 shell, and then stuffed in as much Microsoft kit as possible.

The dashboard is entirely video-generated, and can show either a representation of the original 1969 dashboard, the 2012 version, or a Windows 8 interface for those who want Metro apps to pop up while driving.

Project Detroit dashboard

A touchscreen dashboard – what could possibly go wring?

The windshield has a heads-up display for the driver, which can display the latest location and shopping information via Bing, while passengers can play games on the built-in Xbox system using their side of the windshield as a display. When the car is parked, the entire rear window can be used as a projection screen for watching movies or playing games, and it can also display messages to tailgaters when driving.

Inside the car, dubbed Project Detroit, there are Kinect sensors that monitor the passengers' positions and also scan outside the car to provide warnings if pedestrians get too close. The user can also use a Windows phone to monitor the car's surroundings and to broadcast messages to passers-by, such as "Stop keying my car," as well as customize the sound of the car horn.

To make sure that no one steals this Window pimpmobile, the car has the Viper Smart App, which not only acts as the keys to the vehicle, but can also add remote monitoring no matter who is driving. Jeff Sandquist, senior director of developer relations for Microsoft and self-confessed car nut, has been masterminding the project, and at last year's BUILD conference he named this app as one of his favorites, since it allows him to spy on his daughter's driving.

project Mustang Body

Redmond's classy new look: subtle and understated

The car has its own multiuser 4G wireless network, and can store telemetry data such as speed, location, RPM, and fuel level in Windows Azure, while linking in with real-time traffic updates from Ford's commercial SYNC system. It's also festooned with enough LED lighting to make headlights almost unnecessary.

Okay, so what's the point of all this, besides providing Sandquist with a new toy? Well, Microsoft is hoping the experiment will inspire designers to develop automotive systems running Redmond's code. To that end it's opening up all of the code to developers over the next few weeks.

"We started this project because we knew it would be a challenging and fun way to show what all of these technologies can do in an environment like a car," Sandquist wrote in an MSDN blog. "So now we not only have an incredible Mustang 'device' to showcase what we have done, we will be making source code for the major components of the project available on CodePlex in the coming weeks."

The car will also get a certain amount of publicity for Redmond, as it will be featured this Sunday in the reality TV show based around the mechanics at West Coast Customs. Whether Project Detroit will inspire software design remains to be seen, but at least it's an option now for "celebrities" such teenage pop star Justin Beiber, who got West Coast Customs to build him a set of unique wheels that says "I have a small ... well, you know." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.