The Connected Car
Today we are announcing a very exciting framework that we’ve been thinking about and building for quite a long time. A framework that elegantly integrates with major car manufacturers fleet to create the ultimate connected car experience for drivers.
As a lover of data, cars, technology and someone who quantifies even the most mundane parts of life for answers, the connected car is the mecca of IoT.
There are a few areas inside technology that continue to develop at unbelievable rates. Specifically, IoT has lead us into a new world of connected cars, self driving and VR, among others.
Tesla specifically has done a brilliant job of heralding in the electric connected car. Almost all car companies are now working on some flavor of the connected electric car which, is really nothing short of computers on wheels.
Being a Tesla owner is the happiest a person like me can be. While a Tesla looks like a car, acts like a car and gets you to multiple locations like other cars, Tesla’s are different, Tesla’s are electric computers that spew oceans of data into the cloud for consumers like me to help make sense of. All cars will be doing this soon, many already are.
What makes the electric connected car such a fascinating arena to work in is its market infancy. Car companies are figuring out what it means to have consumers talk to their cars while driving and not driving in them. Car companies are working towards what it means to drive socially, ie. sharing trips, car efficiency levels, locations and gas money saved to name a few.
It’s all still fresh and while major car manufacturers are struggling to figure out what to do, we at HappyFunCorp have created the major plumbing to connect the phone to the cloud, cloud to the car, car to phone and thus car to consumer, while introducing social elements along the way that current generations expect.
Let me explain…
Because I’m a Tesla owner, we’re using my Model S as the testbed, but any car manufacturer that talks to their fleet (almost all now) of cars, can easily integrate this software.
With that in mind, here’s how it works at a high level. Once the owner of the car has installed the car manufacturer’s application using our framework, we check their phone for location at set interval. If their phone is moving, we talk to our servers which then checks to see the drive state of their car to answer a very simple question, is the car driving?
If the car is in drive, we automatically start a trip. We have a lot of smart logic that sorts out how to go back in time based on when the driver started the trip and the tracking started, the delta could be up to a minute in theory.
From there, we talk directly to the phone for location, we limit communication from the car and our servers for both security and location accuracy.
When we do talk to the car, we’re looking for odometer readings, speed, drive states, and a few other variables that give us a much larger picture of what the car and driver are doing.
What we can derive based on the above inputs and our logic are the following:
- Trip data efficiency, this is how people drive — this is shown as a heat line on a map as you drive
- If an electric car, how people charge, this is shown as energy taken in over time at a charger
- Charging locations
- Most efficient drives
- Gas money saved
- Average speed
- Driving time
- Superchargers visited if Tesla
- Auto tracking (just get in your car and we begin to auto track)
- Furthest day traveled (mileage)
- Longest travel day (hours)
- A lot more…
- Activity on specifics milestones ie. longest drive, most efficient drive etc.
- Commenting on specific legs with routes
- Ability to heart
- Awareness notifications based on location
How did we get it all to work?
Like all IoT applications, getting all the moving pieces talking together and staying in sync is the ultimate challenge, connecting cars to phones to servers to people is no exception.
On top of that, when going on a road trip or even your daily commute, drivers still hit dead zones where there’s no cell or wifi access, so building a system that can be smart and automatically fill in the gaps was crucial to accuracy.
We are currently testing the framework with Tesla drivers and plan to expand to other manufactures in the very near term.
If you’re a car manufacturer and want a demo, please email us at — email@example.com
If you’re a Tesla driver and want to download the app, sign up here — Teslatracks.happyfuncorp.com