Case Study: IoT application development for connected cars
Client: Germany-based vehicle electronics manufacturer
Business goals: Launching commercial sales of IoT solutions for connected cars with highlighted UI/UX and reliability
Product: Active Suspension Control and Active Sound Gateway, EU-certified Internet of Things products. Each comprises a device installed in a car and mobile applications that allow to control wheel suspension (ASC) and regulate car tailpipe sound (ASG) with a smartphone.
Applied technologies: Swift 3 for iOS, Java for Android, Bluetooth Low Energy, Backendless (for ASG), Agile management framework, prototyping and UI/UX design, hardware/software integration, manual testing.
A few words from the Client
Executive Director and Owner of AS-DEV
"Never for a second did I have any doubt about the success of my project. I found their development team very competent and exceedingly motivated in the first place. In the end, everything was fulfilled according to my requirements, and I could proudly present the apps to my clients. I can truly recommend collaboration with MobiDev to anyone who needs a competent and responsive partner in app development. We have three more apps on the list, and we will certainly entrust MobiDev with them."
Delivering mobile applications for an Internet of Things product
Forecasts say that there will be 48 million shipped connected cars by 2018, and this number will only increase to 83 million by 2020. The market is open to business-driven innovations in a number of segments, from navigation and infotainment to car safety and specific electronics. Here is one of IoT applications in automotive industry that was delivered after 5 weeks of development. It gave a start to a brand new product series.
The client, a Germany-based vehicle electronics manufacturer, developed a new hardware product for his market. It was a device that would allow car owners to control wheel suspension via Bluetooth Low Energy connection. This hardware needed a mobile app to go along with it—stylish, easy in use, available for both iOS and Android. That's where the client addressed us.
From the input to clear vision
Our main starting point was an application brought by the client. It showed us how the WiFi-based interactions took place. However, the UI was rather sketchy, and there was no source code. Essentially, we would discuss, design and implement full-fledged native applications for both platforms from scratch. These apps would go beyond the limitations set in standard in-vehicle computers, and the finished product would be stable and secure.
Having studied the input, we came up with the following decisions to start from:
• There was no need for backend. The entire logic could be implemented on the client side.
• WiFi was replaced with Bluetooth Low Energy as the optimal connection protocol with considerably reduced energy consumption.
• Design and development would be started with the iOS version, which had to be delivered before the hardware would hit the market.
IoT app development with a focus on automotive hardware/software
• The main focus was on active analysis and integration of software and hardware. The client sent us sets of commands for interaction with the firmware. We had full information on how the device works, including the BLE chip specification, samples of code for interaction, and an app built by the chip manufacturer to test connection.
• Quality and reliability of such products fully depends on non-emulated testing. One week into development, we were provided with 3 actual pieces of hardware. Additionally, the client tested the application on a real car—in the field, so to speak—and we received a highly positive response.
• Eventually we submitted the final product to the App Store. In a couple of days it was published. In the meantime we involved a developer who studied the available materials and started to build a version for Android.
Irina Volotska, Project Manager
"Working with the ASC project was a challenging but rewarding experience. The very idea of the project was very involving, and our main goal was to make the interaction between the hardware and the smartphone seamless. We all were happy to see the results of our work."
Kate Evenko, Quality Assurance Engineer
"Building a product like this is an inspiring experience, especially when you can see the results of your efforts work on a real car. Our dedicated team comprised 6 people, and each of us is proud of the product we have created."
Irina Irzaeva, Client Care Manager
"It was just pleasure to work with Alexander. We considered him one of the team members as he was always actively involved in the development process, backed us up and inspired with his enthusiasm and creative ideas."
Aleksandr Zhmurkov, iOS Developer
The task of perfect integration between the application and the device via BLE was one of truly creative experiences. And the result, when the car follows the commands sent by the smartphone, is simply fascinating.
Releasing a series of IoT applications for the automotive industry
The client noted the high level of the services provided by the team, never having doubts about the success of his project. He appreciated direct communication with team members, wise scheduling, timely reports, and properly created and maintained project documentation. He appreciated us having saved his personal time with handling such issues as localization and even the shipment of devices, which our team members managed to get while meeting him in Germany.
And it was great to meet in person, too! Briefly after the release, he visited our development center and showcased his product installed in a car. No words will speak better than this video – check it out!
The Internet of Things in automotive industry will see a number of new products created by the client with our assistance, such as the already released follow-up called Active Sound Gateway – a similar IoT solution that allows to regulate car tailpipe sound with 4 different parameters. There is much more to tell you about, so make sure you stay updated with our blog! And if you want to employ our IoT application development services or any other area of our expertise for your own success story—feel free to contact us!
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