Excited about Connected Cars? These 6 Development Kits Help You DIY Like a Boss

By Cabe Attwell, Contributing Editor.

Connected vehicles (CVs) have taken the industry by storm. In 2016, mobile carriers activated more CV devices than cell phones. The market is becoming saturated with devices that, for the most part, all do the same thing. The devices allow users to see their approximate gas mileage, diagnose light mechanical issues, find a lost car, and identify unexpected movement (i.e., getting towed or theft). However, most products on the market do not innovate beyond that basic functionality.

What if connected vehicles could do more much? If you want to create the next-generation of connected vehicle devices, we want to help you. The software development kits (SDK) to follow will empower you to innovate from existing platforms, work directly with automotive manufacturers, or develop entirely new kinds of devices that highlight your inner boss.


Android ExampleIf you’re an Android fan, you’ll love Android Auto. Android Auto is all about driver safety without compromising the user experience. Users can access their music library, stay up-to-date on messages, dial in with Skype, and so much more.

The Android Auto SDK empowers developers to optimize existing Android apps and APIs for driving. By leveraging one of the best voice automation technologies, users can access all of their favorite entertainment, hands-free. As a developer you can decide which apps make the cut, and how to best optimize interfaces to keep driving safe and enjoyable.

Check it out here.


Automatic connected car exampleAutomatic is one of the most popular CV devices on the market. Along with keeping tabs on things like gas mileage and car location, it also monitors driver habits. In this way, it will recommend different driving habits that might improve fuel efficiency, or can scan the area for the cheapest gas prices.

Automatic wants to turn its technology into a platform. Developers can work with APIs that offer read and write access to Cloud data, real-time alerts via websockets and webhooks, and support for streaming. New apps created through the SDK can do things like expense gas mileage and automate routine driving habits.

Check it out here.


GM's infotainment benchGM has taken a leap into the future. To encourage developers to work with the automotive manufacturer, the company released an SDK earlier this year which identifies close to 400 data points that could be used in the development of CV apps and devices. You can code in Java or HTML5 using a Node.Js-based platform that expedites the development process. Apps can be developed in as little as one week and can be expected to hit the market 3-4 weeks after approval from GM.

Check it out here.


HERE's connected car exampleIf you love navigation, this is your SDK. Here is all about revolutionizing navigation to give users a streamlined experience from door-to-door. Navigation has greatly improved in recent years—making real-time suggestions based on traffic and accidents—but it can be better. With the Here SDK, you can utilize machine learning to build functionality around individual user behaviors. Welcome to the future of GPS.

Check it out here.


Graphic showing car in the center with many icons in a chart branching off it.IMS powers connected vehicle technology for many insurance providers, and it’s opening its doors to developers to expand its reach. IMS envisions a future in which connected cars provide everything from improved user experience and driver safety, to reduced impact on the environment.

The SDK provides developers with sample code, APIs, guides on getting started, and support from IMS itself. If you’re all about making a one-stop solution for CV technology, this one is for you.

Check it out here.


Infographic titled what you can do with Kaa, shows examples.The Kaa SDK is all about innovation. It operates much like an integrated IT platform from which you can build the CV app of your dreams. The company calls its platform a “plug and play” system which is already programmed to do things like track mileage, fuel, and traffic out of the box.

Developers (independent or those working for automotive manufacturers) can build unique functionality on top of the platform Kaa provides. This is the kit for you if you know what’s important to your users and want to get it to them ASAP.

Check it out here.


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Connected cars abstract image. Cars driving down road with wifi signals pulsing outward.Source: USDOT