Frequently Asked Questions

Development

Why would a developer want to use this platform?

Communication protocols differ between car manufacturers; a third-party interested in working with multiple car manufacturers would have to create an integration with each car manufacturer separately. App development would quickly become complicated or impossible; and manufacturers do not have the time or resources to cooperate with individual developers.

HIGH MOBILITY offers applications access to real vehicle data from an ever-growing list of carmakers with a single integration and a unified Auto API.

To ease development, we created vehicle emulators and a way to simulate a car driving so applications can be tested without having a physical connected car present.

Why would a manufacturer want to allow developers access to its vehicle data?

Until now, carmakers have only offered in-house connected car applications. An in-house smartphone application might be able to show the car’s fuel level or location. Carmakers are forced to maintain their apps and don’t have unlimited resources to develop niche implementations.

By opening up access to real vehicle data, however, carmakers can simultaneously reduce their workload and offer their customers access to an ecosystem of third-party applications. These applications could include Pay-as-You-Drive insurance, parking applications, and more. As more manufacturers open up access to real car data—with owner consent—the potential audience for new applications grows, further motivating developers to create new applications.

Getting started?

Anyone can sign up to HIGH MOBILITY at no cost and start using the emulators and simulator to experiment with the APIs and begin developing applications.

When you create an application and an emulated vehicle, you get API keys which can be used to read data about the emulated vehicle, like fuel level, tire pressure, or location.

We have SDKs and sample applications for iOS, Android, and Node.js to help you get started.

What's the emulator?

To aid developers who need to work with connected cars while testing and fine-tuning their applications, we created a vehicle emulator. The emulator allows developers to see—in the browser and in real time—precisely how a car would react to commands from their applications. At the same time, the sidebar shows—and can control—every aspect of the car’s environment and its state. The Auto API can be used to read these parameters and change them where applicable. Any communication with or change in state of the car is shown in the console log in the bottom frame of the emulator workspace.

The emulator must be running in order for the emulated car to receive and respond to commands. When it is running, the vehicle’s states—and those of its environment—can be observed and changed in two different ways: through the control panel in the sidebar, and through the API.

The vehicle states persist when the emulator is not running and are saved on HIGH MOBILITY’s servers. When an emulator is restarted, the vehicle and its environment will look exactly as it did when the emulator was closed. The states change only if the sidebar is used to change them, if the Auto APIs are used to write to the vehicle, or if they are changed during a pre-programmed simulation.

What's a simulation?

A simulation is a pre-configured timeline which updates a vehicle’s parameters every 1-5 seconds. This allows a developer to test how his application reacts to changes in vehicle parameters. At the end of a simulation, a vehicle’s states are not reset; they remain exactly as they were during the last seconds of the simulation.

What’s the difference between development and production APIs?

In order to allow a whole range of applications to be developed, our emulators offer access to more than 300 data points. In production, fewer data points are currently available, though more will be opened up in the future. Here are the lists of all the current production data points available from BMW, MINI and Mercedes-Benz.

How do the APIs react?

The development APIs respond immediately with data that matches the emulator’s state. In production, the APIs respond immediately with the latest data available on the carmakers servers.

In the case of a connected BMW, the car data is updated at the beginning and end of each trip. It takes about one minute to propagate through the system.

We published some of our findings about working with real car data here.

Is it hard to switch from the emulator to using data from real cars?

HIGH MOBILITY’s platform has been designed to facilitate an easy transition from using the emulators in Development mode to accessing real car data in Production mode: it is as simple as changing the credentials and pointing to the production server. HIGH MOBILITY takes care of the authentication flow for new users. Once the end-user has consented to the sharing of his or her vehicle data, he or she is redirected to the application’s redirect_uri with an authorization code, which is then exchanged for an access token. The access token is then stored securely on the application’s back end. With the access token, the application can request real vehicle data from the car in question via HIGH MOBILITY’s Auto APIs.

Real car data and payment

Do you have your own list of connected cars?

Our platform handles the consent flow, so it’s easy for end users to consent to the sharing of car data with use connected car applications. However, since each user must consent to sharing his or her data with each particular application, it is up to the application developer to find users.

How does pricing work?

HIGH MOBILITY only charges for access to live vehicle data. Pricing models differ between manufacturers; details for all the manufacturers we support can be found on the pricing page.

Does the car owner incur any costs?

The car owner pays nothing to offer access to his or her car’s data; the costs are incurred by the developer. However, the car owner must have a connected data package, like ConnectedDrive for BMW or Mercedes me for Mercedes.

Consent and Privacy

Which cars are eligible in Production mode?

How does consent work?

For an explanation of the consent process, please visit our Learn pages.

How does HIGH MOBILITY address privacy and security issues?

In the case of a privately owned vehicle, car data can only be shared with the explicit consent of the car owner. Confidentiality is ensured through end-to-end encryption using a Public Key Infrastructure. Furthermore, today HIGH MOBILITY only allows read-access to any vehicle. While it is possible to read fuel level or the odometer reading, for instance, it is not possible to unlock the doors or turn on the engine.