Our basic expectations have changed due to the constant connection we maintain with mobile devices. This assumption or expectation is expanding out to the “Internet of Things” (IoT) connecting all things in our lives. The transportation industry is no exception and in fact is leading in adoption. By 2020, 90% of cars are expected to feature built-in connectivity, up from just 10% today with an estimated 210 million connected cars hitting the road over the next few years. This is transforming the relationship between car owners and manufacturers beyond the driving experience. Will this be the automotive industry’s most significant transformation since the introduction of Henry Ford’s automated assembly line?

To meet changing customer expectations requires new, innovative connected services. But the challenge for car manufacturers is how to integrate value brought by processing and analyzing real-time data from the connected vehicle. Automobiles today deliver millions of points of valuable information while connected devices such as mobile phones play an integral role in people’s lives. Application Programming Interfaces or APIs, on the other hand, enable businesses to provide access to information or to a transaction, for application developers to consume. APIs are now increasingly being leveraged by the connected vehicle ecosystem.

This is an exciting opportunity for developers to work together to integrate the massive amounts of data from cars, phones, traffic signals, lights and other sources and analyze it in either real-time or near real-time to deliver on the promise of the connected vehicle. This innovation is expected to offer new and essential services for drivers, passengers, car manufacturers, car dealers, insurance companies, parking space systems and much more. Examples of APIs for a Connected Car include roadside assistance, concierge services, crash notification, vehicle remote services, pay-per-drive rental, road condition awareness, parking space availability, data for insurance providers and improved fleet management. The future is already here, with industry leaders such as Sprint offer a customizable end-to-end connected vehicle solution, designed for automakers. And leading innovative automakers like PSA Peugeot are rolling out millions of Connected Cars.

Technically speaking, HTTP/S revolutionized how we consume data. But for some scenarios, additional challenges are faced by Connected Cars, Mobile and M2M (machine-to-machine) applications – such as reliability of data transmission, where a lightweight messaging transport protocol such as MQTT with built-in qualities of service (QoS) characteristics may be more appropriate. So it really depends on the use case one is designing a solution for, and sometimes a combination of technologies/standards may be the best solution.

At a very relevant upcoming event on APIs and Connected Cars, the API Days conference and hackathon in San Francisco on June 13-15, will cover how APIs enable the Connected Car, and how APIs are bringing customized services to drivers, providing high value innovative applications for business-to-consumer and business-to-business clients and automotive systems. API Days is a series of open global events that are all about APIs. Topics discussed at the June conference will include opportunities/challenges with Connected Car data such as volume, velocity, privacy, security and also cover guidelines on how to develop for Connected Cars. Location of the conference is at Parisoma in San Francisco, that encourages collaboration between enterprises and the startup community. Find out more about the event and register at sf.apidays.io.

The agenda looks very exciting, as it includes:

  • Larry Burns, Advisor for Google’s self-driving cars, will discuss how Connected Cars are transforming the auto industry and our lives
  • Kin Lane (@kinlane) Presidential innovation fellow and world-renowned API Evangelist, will talk about the role and opportunity of APIs in the Connected Car
  • I (@SidBhatiaCalif) will be speaking at the event on behalf of IBM, sharing our experience and industry stories on Connected Car and APIs including how we are building the largest connected vehicle platform that will transform the development of a country’s connected car services industry, and also enabling a Connected Car Cloud for autonomous driving
  • Several other excellent industry leaders will share their stories and best practices on designing APIs for the Connected Car industry

IBM provides solutions that offer a range of “connected services” to its clients, allowing them to use numerous access channels such as mobile apps, websites, vehicle data, and customer service applications. Businesses are able to access various sources of vehicle data and customer service information such as, better weather precision via onboard sensors of temperature, lights, and windshield wipers. In many cases those interactions happen via APIs, that have to be managed, monitored and monetized by the API providers, making it available for a developer community to consume. IBM is gearing up to deliver innovative Big Data, mobile and cloud technologies to automakers, suppliers, fleets and insurers to meet growing consumer and business demand for integrated and personalized connected vehicles. IBM’s related solutions include API Management, MessageSight, IoT Cloud, Mobile, Bluemix, Cloud, Big Data & Analytics.

For more API-related info, participate in our API community at developer.ibm.com/apimanagement

About Me: Sid Bhatia is responsible for product management of IBM’s API & Service Management product portfolio, focusing on API Economy at IBM. Previously, Sid led product management for IBM DataPower appliances and for IBM’s Connectivity & Integration products. Prior to joining IBM, with over 25 years experience in Software Engineering, including rolling out large-scale SOA foundations at companies including Charles Schwab and Accenture, Sid has led successful SOA implementations of ESB, common security mechanisms, Service Registry, B2B, Integration COE, and SOA Governance. He has an M.B.A. and also a Master’s degree in Software Engineering, and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. You can reach him @SidBhatiaCalif

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