This month, on February 20th, we’re launching a completely new car simulator that takes our sandbox environment to a whole new level. Importantly, this major update replaces the current car simulator and brings along changes on how data containers are configured. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through all the updates and close with instructions on how to prepare your account.
Datasets match market availability
We today support live data access to vehicles from 15 different brands. Each brand — and sometimes even each model — has a different set of capabilities when it comes to capturing and transmitting data. With this in mind, the new simulator comes with Scenes. Scenes are versatile simulator presets that allow you to choose exactly what manufacturer dataset you intend to test with, or even combinations of manufacturers. When a specific brand scene is chosen, only the data points of that brand are shown and returned in API responses. In addition to this, you can also filter data points to any of your data containers. This way, if you only intend to capture e.g. mileage and vehicle location information, you do not need to see all the other 600 data points that our platform covers.
Fleet data vs. consumer applications
The connected car data market has clearly diverged into two different paths since our first version of the simulator. On one hand, we have manufacturer offerings for the consumer market, which are typical B2C scenarios. On the other hand, an ever increasing offering has emerged for pure B2B cases, targeting fleet operators. When creating a new virtual car using the new simulator, the first thing we do is to prompt you for your business case. Having that in mind, we already match the scenes you can choose to match live data availability. This way you always test the sandbox environment with a strong link to the real market availability.
Support for push data: MQTT
Over a year ago we introduced streaming data delivery for live vehicles using MQTT. This has now grown to become the most favoured integration option. We’re keen on this development as the data quality over our streaming interface in many cases surpass that which can be delivered over pull-based APIs. We’re thrilled that this data delivery option is now also supported by the new car simulator.
Every time a data point is altered in the simulator, the change is pushed immediately to all applications that are listening. This allows for fully evented workflows without the need for any polling mechanisms.
Included: Fleet Clearance
As always for VIN-specific data, no data access can be allowed before owner consent has been obtained. So far we have only been supporting driver consent for B2C applications in our sandbox environment, however now we finally include the support for fleet clearances as well. As a bonus, it also means that our Fleet SDK can also be used with the new simulators.
The Fleet Clearance API can be used just the same way as for live vehicles, by pointing the URL to our sandbox endpoints and by taking the VIN of one of the simulators that you have created. As this is a powerful topic with many additional features, we will have a separate deep dive into this in our upcoming Open Dev Talk in February.
To allow for all the new features, we’re making changes to the sandbox data containers that you experience in our console. Specifically, each sandbox data container has its own credentials for all APIs, just as we’ve always had it for live data containers. In short, you can:
- Generate Service Account API credentials, to be used for the Fleet Clearance endpoints
- See OAuth2 credentials and configure Redirect URIs
- Generate MQTT credentials
- Copy snippets for the REST API, GraphQL API, any of the SDKs and Postman
There’s a ton of further updates to the new simulator. Here we’re listing a few noteworthy changes to keep in mind:
- With a completely new architecture, the simulator can respond to API requests even if the simulator is not open in the browser. This way, headless integration tests can be set up for any of the virtual cars you have created.
- The log at the bottom of the simulator is filled with rich information. As an example, you can expand the exact API response that the simulator has provided to help debugging processes.
- Simulations, a powerful tool that allowed for driving scenarios in the current simulator, is not part of the first version of the new simulator. It’s coming though! We are redesigning the journey generator to make it easier to work with. If you are waiting for this feature, please get in touch with us to be notified early.
How to migrate
If you haven’t used the simulator before, there is nothing to take care about. Starting from February 20th the develop view in our console will allow you to work with the new simulator directly. If you have existing data containers in develop mode, please be aware that these containers and simulators will no longer be available after the release. Please make sure to note down any important container configurations so that you can set up new containers following the update. There are no automatic migrations due to the completely new architecture that is being deployed.
If you wish help in migrating your containers, or want to recover any data that is no longer accessible after the release, just get in touch with our support team and we’re happy to help you out.
All in all the new simulator and sandbox environment brings a whole range of new opportunities for developers and customers working with connected car data. We’re excited to make it even easier for customers to scale with this rollout!