APIs are at the very core of most online services, even though an average user isn’t aware of the fact. They’re very inconspicuous and efficient at what they do, which is one of the reasons why most people have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes as they’re browsing a booking website or checking weather forecasts.
We can thanks APIs for providing an online environment where services share data with one another. Here’s one example to get a better idea of what we’re talking about: Google obviously doesn’t peddle in weather forecasts, yet it provides seamless access to weather information no matter where you live. That’s because it can access public APIs of weather stations that handle all the measurements.
The automotive industry is no different. We’re heading towards a future of connected cars with rich infotainment systems that provide all of the real-time information that the driver could ask for. Today, we’ll explore what APIs can do for you and what to expect in the future.
What Is an API?
Application programming interface, or API for short, is a software bundle that allows third parties to interact with proprietary services.
In simpler terms, it’s a piece of code that allows one service to interact with another, without revealing the other service’s inner workings.
Consider the automotive industry. A developer could use BMW’s API to deliver all the necessary data about the car’s status to the user through an app. Neither user nor the developer will know anything about how BMW collects the data or how it’s presented in their database. All the developer knows is what methods to use to retrieve the data and show it to the user in a digestible form.
Types of APIs
Not every API is created equal. They offer varying levels of access depending on what kind of information is being shared and with whom.
Open APIs are external or public APIs that are easily accessible for most developers. Some require registration or private keys to access, but in most cases, even that isn’t necessary. Weather data from our example is usually provided in a form of an open API.
Unlike Open APIs, Partner APIs have restricted access that’s controlled through a third-party API gateway. To gain access to a Partner API, you need to pay for it, which is quite common in software as a service ecosystem.
Internal APIs are used by localized teams within a company structure. They streamlining the development process by making sure every individual team abides by the same development rules.
Composite APIs make it possible to access multiple data services at once. In some cases, these different access points all point to multiple services within a single API, but sometimes, they aggregate data from separate APIs.
API Use Cases in Automobile Industry
Before we dive into some of the examples of automotive industry APIs, we need to elaborate on what it is they do. What kind of information about the car or the industry can you extract from an API? What can you learn as a consequence of data sharing? Here are some of the most frequent use case of APIs in the automobile industry:
- General information
- Remote services
- Remote vehicle functions
- Location services
- Concierge services
- Data and analytics
- Public APIs
- Custom information and transactions.
Examples of Automotive Industry APIs
To truly understand what automotive APIs are and how they work, it’s best to take a look at a couple of practical examples.
High Mobility Auto API
High Mobility Auto relies on RESTful API architecture to provide information about chassis, climate, doors, diagnostics, firmware, auto health, parking, infrastructure, and the environment among other things.
The companies that provided access to such information to the developers of High Mobility Auto are BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Mercedes Benz, and Porsche.
Car Stockpile API
Car Stockpile API provides data on a variety of car models and trims that buyers can choose from. It’s constantly updated and currently has information on more than 57,000 trims, 8500 models, and automobile 89 makes.
Volvo Extended Vehicle API
Developers can Volvo Extended Vehicle API to access software methods that retrieve data about car locked and open status, hood and tailgate status, window open status, and many other functions.
CarMD Vehicle API
After developers integrate CarMD Vehicle API features, users will be able to retrieve a wealth of information about the car, including warranty, engine, year, make, model, and any necessary repairs.
Auto dealers can take advantage of ATC API to get all the information they need to obtain a mechanic’s lien for cars abandoned and repair shops. This API allows them to access Automotive Titling Corporation’s title and registration services.
Fortellis CDK API and ELead CRM
Fortellis is a tech platform where software developers and car dealers come together to transform the automotive industry. Naturally, it’s got an extensive repository of APIs worth mentioning, such as the CDKDrive Customer API or the Elead Sales Customers.
The former allows you to find, retrieve, and filter customers in the CDK drive, while the latter allows you to manage customers in Elead DRM. Among other things, that includes retrieving customers and even vehicles according to their Elead ID.
Cox API for VINSolutions CRM
Using this Cox Automotive API, you can gain insight into invaluable dealership data and make informed decisions regarding sales and marketing. VinSolutions’ Connect CRM integrates with all Cox Automotive software solutions and enables dealerships to use the aggregated data.
DealerSocket’s CRM aims to empower automotive dealerships by improving their efficiency and marketing, thus leading to increased sales. It streamlines the work processes by automatically sending data to the DMS and forwarding lead data.
On top of all that, DealerSocket’s CRM can create and update to-do lists, update customer data, and send inbound and outbound call information to DealerSocket.
Take data protection and management to a whole new level with DealerVault CRM. What it does is provide you with total control over how accessible your data is and to whom. Besides data management, you also get several layers of security against data breaches. DealerVault achieves this with a cyber-liability insurance policy, cutting-edge security, and cloud technology.
The Future of Automotive Industry APIs
You can rest assured that the automobile of the future is going to be more connected, not less. The number of APIs is only going to keep increasing, thus expanding the scope of services accessible to a modern vehicle. For manufacturers to stay competitive, they’ll need to be constantly on the lookout for all of the quality of life APIs that drivers could ever want.
Precisely because the number of APIs will keep increasing, it may be hard to keep up with the innovations. You can email us at hello＠360converge.com and we will add you to the APIs list so you can stay updated on the latest developments.