How to start working with Connected Car Data?

August 2, 2022
We have often got the questions on how do I start with Connected Car Data and what do I need to start using car data with a real vehicle. In our first Open Dev Talk our CTO and founder, Kevin Valdek, explained which steps to be followed when applications are enhanced with new capabilities based on live vehicle data.

High Mobility is a data platform for personalised, vehicle-specific live data which enables businesses connecting to cars without any additional or retrofitted hardware required. There is only one API and one contract that needs to be considered for accessing multi-brand telematics data. Additionally, High Mobility provides a broad range of free tools such as a brand independent consent flow, a virtual connected car simulator and software development kits for all major environments.

Connected Car Data Checklist

In order to start working with connected car data we are recommending going through each of the following steps. Every underlying aspect will be explained in more detail both in the video of our first Open Dev Talk and this blog post.

  • Check-out terms and conditions
  • Review cars being compatible with the platform
  • Select data points to be retrieved for your service
  • Start testing with virtual connected car data
  • Go live and access real vehicles

Contract and Terms of Use

Although Terms and Conditions might not be the most interesting thing to start with, it is essential to understand which agreements need to be made for working with personalised vehicle data. Since every data point will be transmitted accompanied by unique vehicle identification number (VIN) data must be treated in a sensitive and secure way. In order to create a legal framework specifically for connected car related use cases we have created legal terms for the following scenarios:

  • Creating an application for data of privately-owned vehicles
  • Running a service for fleet operators
  • Using connected car data of your own fleet of vehicles  

Respective contracts and conditions describe what needs to be done in terms to capture consent and to fulfil data privacy and information security requirements. They also explain for example which uptime and service agreements can be offered. 

Legal documents can be reviewed on our web page and our experts can be booked for free in order to help with questions and concerns.

Eligibility check for connected cars

Modern cars do not require any additional hardware such as OBD-II dongles in order to send data to third party systems. Although nearly all new passenger cars come with connected car capabilities it is worth checking out which exact brands and models can be addressed with help of High Mobility’s Auto API. We have outlined eligible cars on our documentation pages which can be accessed even without any registration. 

If you already have an existing overview of cars with their corresponding VINs we will be more than happy to perform a detailed eligibility check for you. In that way you can understand best on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis which cars can be used for your new connected car service and which vehicles might not provide any built-in capabilities.

Selecting Data Points

The High Mobility platform makes it easy to select and to consume the data points required for your connected car service. Creating an account is free and does not require any payment details. After having signed in, you can create a new app container which represents your target application in our sandbox environment (Build mode). The next step is to select the data points that you want to use from the permissions list. High Mobility provides more than 300 data points starting from the odometer value and more specific items such as the outside temperature. Additionally, you will be able to see which brands are capable of sending the selected list of data points. All selected data items will be included in the consent flow and access will be technically restricted to the data points list accordingly. 

API credentials are immediately and directly provided on our platform. No matter if you plan to involve a pull based approach using the REST interface or consuming data via MQTT, you will find corresponding certificates and SDKs listed in the sandbox environment. Feel free to also download the customised Postman collection and environment that can easily accompany the development process.

Testing connected car applications

Testing connected car applications can be difficult, expensive and time consuming. Especially, when your application makes use of crash data, extensive trip information or car health information. High Mobility provides a free car simulator tool which emulates real car behavior and can easily be connected to the prototype app and test environment of our customers. We have covered its functionalities and features in our Open Dev Talk #2. 

Furthermore, you will find open source applications that already integrate High Mobility’s APIs for demo purposes. This helps to test and to checkout the code related to the API integration even if only limited development resources are available. The GraphQL sample app for example can be hosted using Heroku. In order to set it up the credentials being outlined on the High Mobility can be simply copied to the configuration menu of the app. It features the consent flow and visualizes most data points in a modern UI. It even shows the vehicle’s locations on a Google Map (requires Google Maps API key).  

Both the car simulator and the open source apps are provided free of charge.

Going live

Once you feel comfortable working with real car data you can switch from build mode to live mode. After creating the app container with the data points that you like to use for productive purposes we are asking you to submit your application name, description and links to terms and conditions and your privacy statement. Based on your requirements we will activate brand by brand within a few hours and days. After that, you can use the productive endpoint to start triggering the fleet clearance or consent flow by using your live mode credentials and corresponding vehicle identification numbers.

High Mobility Open Dev Talks 

At High Mobility, we are passionate about new technology. We offer free open source tools and developer friendly documentation for any projects to be integrated smoothly. More than 800 developers and product managers have already signed up for our moderated community platform and we are hosting connected car competitions for your innovative, connected car ideas. 

In our free monthly, 30-minute Open Dev Talk online session we are explaining exciting connected car related topics in 15 minutes and dedicate the rest of the time to your questions and ideas.

Join our community on Slack

Read Next