The project, detailed on the Break It Yourself YouTube channel, essentially starts a Toyota at a scheduled time and if the outside temperature hits below a certain threshold. At the heart of the project is a Raspberry Pi installed with Home Assistant, an open-source home automation software. The conditions (time and temperature) were set on the Home Assistant web app.
To detect the temperature, a simple temperature-humidity sensor was linked to the Home Assistant. Similarly, to start the car, an ESP32 was integrated into the home automation software. The developer did so by flashing the microcontroller with the ESPHome firmware, a Home Assistant add-on, and subsequently wiring it to the Raspberry Pi. This ESP32 board served as the controller for a relay-operated push-pull solenoid that presses the car fob in the correct sequence. In this case, two short presses followed by a long press on the lock button are required to start the Toyota.
To create the code for the sequence, the developer turned to the popular AI chatbot from OpenAI, ChatGPT. Although the code needed some tweaking, the script eventually worked like a charm and was able to activate the solenoid in the sequence required.