Which use cases can be realised with Connected Car Data in 2023?

May 22, 2023

In-vehicle telematics data has a range of benefits, including not requiring additional hardware, simple and secure onboarding, and GDPR compliant data sharing. However, it's important to note that not all brands provide the same data set. This is due to a variety of reasons, such as technological progress, different vehicle architectures, and prioritisation.

Despite these challenges, the good news is that many popular use cases are already available for multi-brand support. This Open Dev Talk explains which use cases are covered in early 2023 and how software companies and fleet operators can use the High Mobility platform to organise data sets and use cases accordingly.

OEM Data Coverage for Fleet Use Cases

High Mobility offers a platform that enables the translation of OEM-specific APIs into a common language that is utilised by the Auto API. With our self-service platform, users can organize credentials, test applications with virtual cars, and manage use cases and permissions. Our data sharing approach is based on contractual agreements with OEMs and secured by a single contractual framework. 

Fleet management covers commercially used cars, such as rental cars, corporate fleets, and cars owned by dealerships. In 2023, the majority of data is provided for fleet-related use cases, and therefore, this article will focus on fleet management only.

For our overview, we have listed the most popular use cases, established the required data points per use case, and analysed to what extent each OEM supports the corresponding use cases. This analysis is particularly important for fleet management as it can help operators and software companies to identify which OEMs can provide the data required for their specific use case.

Mileage Tracking

Mileage is one of the most requested data points and is also one of the best starting points to utilise in-vehicle connected car data. It is usually simple and straightforward to integrate since it is a single data point, which is the odometer. The best part is that it is available for all cooperating brands. There are numerous use cases associated with mileage data: 

  • Pay-as-you-drive: This use case involves offering vehicles and mobility options on a pay-per-use basis. Mileage data is used to calculate the actual distance driven and then charge customers accordingly. This approach allows for more flexible and personalized mobility options that cater to individual needs.
  • Car pool utilisation: Mileage data is useful in ensuring that pool vehicles are used in an economic way, avoiding high charges that might come up at the end of the lease term. This use case involves monitoring the distance driven by each vehicle in the pool to ensure that they are used efficiently.
  • Value estimation and forecast: Mileage data can be used to continuously monitor a car's value estimation and residual value forecast based on usage. This helps in making smart decisions when it comes to replacing existing vehicles with new ones.
  • Car subscription: In this use case, mileage data is used to automate billing for driven miles that exceed the monthly included kilometer package. This approach allows for a more flexible subscription model that caters to individual needs.
  • Detecting mileage fraud: Mileage data is also useful in verifying that mileage was not manipulated over a vehicle's lifecycle for remarketing purposes. This approach helps to ensure that vehicles are accurately represented in the used car market and helps prevent fraud.

Vehicle Health and Maintenance

Regular vehicle health checks are important for maintaining continuous mobility, and the recommended data points for the vehicle health check include Dashboard Warning Lights, Diagnostic Trouble Codes, Upcoming Services/Inspections, Tire Pressures, and Accident Events. While every manufacturer covers vehicle health and maintenance to a certain extent, there is no brand that matches all of the suggested data items. Modern vehicles are now able to detect accidents themselves using features like emergency call, accident call, or breakdown call. 

An example of how maintenance and diagnostics data could be translated into a business process is as follows: the trigger is when a customer sees an unknown dashboard warning light in their vehicle, they contact the support or fleet management team, and High Mobility's API is used to perform a remote diagnosis. If intervention is required, availability is checked at local repair shops, and a workshop appointment is booked digitally, and the driver will be informed. The process can be fully automated even without manual interaction between the fleet management team and driver. 

There are lots of other examples how vehicle data helps sustaining the good conditions of a fleet:

  • Service monitoring: This involves ensuring that all necessary maintenance is performed on the vehicle and that there are no overdue services or inspections. With connected car data, this can be monitored in real-time and automated alerts can be sent to fleet managers or service providers when maintenance is needed.
  • Reducing downtime through constant monitoring of trouble codes: By monitoring Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs), fleet managers can identify potential issues before they become major problems that could result in vehicle downtime. This can help reduce costs and improve fleet efficiency.
  • Improving tire management: Connected car data can be used to monitor tire pressures and detect abnormal wear patterns. By optimising tire management, fleet managers can reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs while improving safety.
  • Automating vehicle health checks before vehicle remarketing: When a vehicle is returned at the end of a lease or sold as a used car, a vehicle health check is typically performed to assess the condition of the vehicle. With connected car data, this process can be automated, making it faster and more efficient.

Location Monitoring and Trips

The recommended data points for location tracking include the vehicle’s coordinates, for trip detection we suggest using Odometer, Vehicle location and Ignition. All cooperating brands offer sufficient data for these use cases. 

Popular use cases for the vehicle location include:

  • Live Tracking: This location data point is useful for transport and delivery companies as it helps them to accurately identify the position of the vehicle, allowing them to estimate arrival times.
  • Geofencing: With this feature, businesses can automate and trigger processes whenever a vehicle enters or exits a certain area. For instance, car rental companies can track if a vehicle remains within the countries allowed by their terms and conditions.
  • Stolen Vehicle Tracking: In case a vehicle gets stolen, this location data point can be used to locate it. Unlike dongles, which can be easily removed by thieves, this data point offers a more reliable way to track the stolen vehicle.

Additionally, trip data can be used for even more advanced use cases:

  • Route history: The suggested data points can be used to offer logbook solutions that allow businesses to distinguish between private and business-related trips for tax refunds.
  • Insurance: The odometer value can be used as a basis for insurance premiums, and additional discounts can be given if the vehicle stays within a certain area to minimise risk.
  • Vehicle misuse: The data can be used to identify if the vehicle was used for purposes other than what was contractually agreed upon, providing businesses with better control over their assets.

However, our team is aware that for some companies, location data is very sensitive, so data sharing via High Mobility can be configured in a way that vehicle location data is explicitly excluded.

Charging and EV Route Optimisation

Many modern fleets are starting to explore connected car data specifically by using electric vehicles and their unique abilities. This is because most electric cars have always been compatible since they provide more connectivity features in general. A common use case for connected car data in electric vehicles is tracking the charging sessions. For this use case, recommended data points include battery level, estimated range, charge mode, charger voltage, and plugged-in status. Some companies also focus on more efficient trip planning by utilising data points such as battery level, estimated range, and vehicle location. Both scenarios are supported by nearly all cooperating brands, and Ford has announced support for EV data later this year.

Fleet operators, service providers and software companies have integrated EV data for various goals:

  • EV Transition: Helping companies analyse mobility behavior and replace ICE vehicles with EVs based on individual needs and circumstances.
  • Reimbursing Home Charging Costs: Offering reimbursement for home charging costs to EV owners.
  • Sustainability Report: Measuring CO2 emissions and proving environmentally friendly use according to regulatory standards.
  • Battery Health Monitoring: Checking battery degradation and how e.g. fast charging influences battery health and its residual value.
  • Live Route Updates and Logistics: Optimising vehicle routes and scheduled charging sessions according to the state of charge of the vehicle.
  • Cost-effective Charging: Tracking and optimising charging costs by monitoring charging locations and corresponding charging sessions.

Use case management at High Mobility’s Connected Car Data Platform

High Mobility’s connected car data platform provides tools to manage use cases and associated cars effectively, considering both technical and legal challenges. Use cases are usually represented by a set of data points, but not every use case requires the same set of data points. It is essential to avoid associating each car with every use case due to legal restrictions such as data minimization and consent requirements.

Data containers and presets

To start working on the first use cases, you can create a free account on high-mobility.com. The data containers represent a set of data points and specific use cases, both in development and productive mode. When creating a new data container, users first have to decide if the use case will focus on privately-owned cars or fleets.

Based on the selection, there will be two ways of activating vehicles technically: using our digital consent flow for B2C use cases and our fleet clearance for commercially-used vehicles, as referenced in previous Open Dev Talks. Defining which data points should be assigned with the use case is essential. In the user interface, data points are called permissions to reflect that personalized data items need to be actively shared by the drivers.

If you are unsure which data points might be suitable for the desired use case, you can check the use cases mentioned in this article or select some suggestions in our preset dropdown menu. Based on the selected data points, you can also create your own presets with a custom name. This is especially helpful when testing the same use case both in development and production, as the preset can be selected when creating a live data container, and all assigned data points will be pre-selected automatically.

Tips and tricks for managing use cases and data points

During our Open Dev Talk session, we showcased how to create data containers and presets for the four referenced data topics: Mileage, Charging, Location, and Vehicle Health. To further optimise use case management, we have some additional hints to share.

For Charging and Location data topics, it may be necessary to consider location as a sensitive data point. In such cases, it would be beneficial to use two app containers to separate the drivers who are willing to share both data topics and those who only prefer to share charging data points.

When it comes to Location Monitoring and Trips, there are multiple ways of identifying trips using the available data points. You could listen to the MQTT stream, use polling techniques or webhooks. To monitor the beginning and end of a trip, certain data points could be included such as ignition, engine state, and selected gear.

For Vehicle Health and Maintenance, although not every manufacturer offers the same data points, there is already a diverse and helpful set of data items available. High Mobility's categorised data points provide an overview to get started. The best category to start with is Diagnostics, which includes odometer, tire pressures, and trouble codes. This can be followed by Dashboard lights, which offer a single endpoint for many specificities. Lastly, maintenance includes upcoming/overdue services, inspections, and fluid changes. Vehicle health is often associated with accident and breakdown information, which can be found in the crash category. Crash information is already offered by Stellantis and Ford, and it provides the eCall event, impact zone, and crash severity data.

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.

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