Connected Car paradigm increasingly gets into focus of the many involved industries. Also, it gives rise to variety of platforms and devices which aim to enable and support diverse functionalities. Currently one can find many different proprietary and open source based solutions ranging from standalone OBD reader dongles to integrated systems doing heavy lifting at the traditional service backends, comfortably available on popular user devices such as mobile phones.
Illustration 1: Connected Car
Existing solutions available today
Capability to deliver value to the enduser is certainly the most important characteristic sought after. Ease of use, clarity of information, overall appeal are added on top of flawless execution to produce seamless user experiences for the most popular solutions. This notion is the centerpiece of the series of articles which will try to introduce selection of the most prominent Connected Car solutions.
Each will include brief presentation of the product, most relevant characteristics outline and as the series progresses, readers will have particular kind of comparison which could help them make an informed choice of their prospective development tool, production environment or help with identification of shortcomings and advantages of particular solution.
Some of the prominent proprietary solutions which will be covered by the review series include Verizon Hum, Automatic, Dash Car and couple more. Of interest will be also systems like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and OpenXC. At the end, focus will be turned to available open source devices and systems such as Macchina, Freematics, CANBus Triple, OBD Development Board and other.
Illustration 2: OBD2/CANBus dongle.
Depending on the selected solution user opt to read diagnostic status codes, clear errors or even analyze data in more advanced ways. Some of them offer support to connect to online backend which in turn can provide data processing services. Use cases include overview of overall health status, remote discovery of last parking location taken, characterizing of the driving style, etc. These are oriented toward personal users meeting most common daily and periodical requirements. In contrast, business users have different requirements. They include real-time fleet geo-tracking and reporting, part or vehicle failure anticipation, optimization and resource management, communication with staff and other.
Criteria which is going to be used while evaluating solutions will be based on end user usability and accessibility, versatility in terms of support for popular software platforms interconnection, development support and industry standards coverage. Although these are generic categories and listed solutions does not necessarily approach the goal of having all of them under the belt, idea here is to set some frame of reference to help the reader arrange relevant presented information. Once there, it is easier to rearrange or filter out irrelevant information and get clear picture whether delivered level of performance and support matches requirements of the project or use-case.