WITH VINLI CARPORT, #FUTURECAR IS OPEN TO DEVELOPERS
When looking at the ways to crack the nut on the market, several companies have arisen in the last couple of years to connect existing cars via bluetooth tethering to mobile devices or cellular connectivity. Leading OEMs have also espoused their visions to connect future product and provide "connected" services.
At Vinli, we waited for the market timing that would allow us to deliver a complete solution with blazing fast 4G LTE connectivity coupled with advanced hardware, robust APIs and distribution via our strategic investment partners and mobile operators globally.
The big question typically raised just after, “Can I unlock the car via Vinli API?” is “So, how can I get my awesome app, (insert app name) into the dash of cars?”
Well, those who’ve been around the industry for a few years or longer know that’s a really long answer that's quite complex. Suffice to say you'll beat your head against the wall for a long time. If you happen to have a few millions users or say 50 million users, you'll get some interest. By comparison to the "web world," the auto industry has long design cycles and embedded systems are rarely updated as we're accustomed to on our mobile devices. Add to that, solutions/apps built for OEM 1 are only going to work on their vehicles and likely specific model...shipping in 2018 or '19...if we didn't scare you off yet, keep reading!
Surely there’s a better way, right? Silicon Valley minds worldwide want to know, err they’re chomping at the bit for a modern approach to building for cars. In our travels as Vinli Dev, we’ve visited developers in 15 COUNTRIES over the last year to talk about the future of mobility and connected car. We’ve listened to you and to the OEMs and worked with partners such as Continental to create Vinli Carport, which I’m very pleased to announce to you via the Frankfurt Auto Show (or IAA as it's known to industry folk)
“In-car apps will soon connect drivers with their homes as well as with other personal devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and wearables,” says Seval Oz, CEO at Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems. “Continental ITS is excited to present its first in-vehicle developer app framework that will make the connected car a powerful extension of the driver’s smart home and connected lifestyle!
As Don Valentine, founder of Sequoia Capital recently riffed on Josh Kopelman's recent blog post (Partner at First Round Capital and Vinli Board Member):
"We enjoyed First Round’s Josh Kopelman’s explanation of the opportunities they see related to self-driving cars. Like connected homes, opportunities to retrofit existing vehicles stand out [emphasis mine], particularly when most large auto and tech players appear focused on tech for new cars.
*Hat tip to Shaun and friends at Urban.us for catching this Valentine greatness.
From Vinli’s official PR apparatus:
"Carport is bringing Vinli apps and services directly to your car’s built-in display, creating a safer connected driver experience. Featuring an intuitive, location-based user interface, Carport is connecting drivers to all aspects of their digital life, including their car, home and loved ones."
A thorough user experience: With Carport, we’re bringing contextual and personalized information to the driver without distracting them from the road.
Carport features five services:
Carport Home Connect Connect smart home products, like Samsung, SmartThings and Nest to create personalized automated smart home settings for lighting, temperature and security. For example, as the last person pulls out of the driveway, Carport will show the driver that the thermostat is set to “away,” the lights are turned off and the front door is locked.
Carport Beagle Drivers can quickly and easily keep tabs on the whereabouts of all the connected cars in their household.
Carport My Service Shop Personalized timeline of maintenance milestones and prognostics (predictive diagnostics) for Carport enabled vehicles, including oil changes, tires, and battery replacement.
Carport Roadside Assistance Drivers can summon assistance for tire service, fuel delivery, and towing at the press of a button while having the peace of mind knowing precise location and availability of the service provider.
Developer Apps 3rd-party developers can easily extend their apps to support Carport and create new apps for the connected car with the direct display integration provided by Carport. Carport services and apps will be a growing ecosystem of 3rd party applications to best suit the driver. Remember, Vinli is for all cars and all people!
Why you should care? For one, if you're reading this, you are likely a developer, an agency/integrator or enterprise needing such a platform today with a vision for tomorrow.
As for the elephant in the room: You must be wondering as I would be, "When will Carport ship in any OEM's product line?” Well, you’ll have to wait a bit longer on that. Rest assured, Vinli's Automotive team will be working with our partners on OEM integrations and will share updates as available.
For more information check out Vinli’s Carport page.
If you’d like to discuss integration opportunities, we are taking alpha developer inquiries. Please contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you happen to be in the SF Bay Area, please join us at TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon this weekend. Check out our post covering the details.
Ride with VinliDev!