Carmakers tinkering with APIs to connect cars to Google says CA Technologies

Car manufacturers are working on APIs that connect not only backend systems but external software like Google, Facebook and Twitter directly to the car, CA Technologies' European CTO said.

While most businesses are just beginning to open APIs to improve internal and customer-facing applications for mobile devices, CA technologies’ customers in the automotive industry have “bypassed mobile”, the vendor’s CTO Bjarne Rasmussen revealed during the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona.

He said: “Car manufacturers are looking at using an API direct from the car...the phone has passed...they are looking at the way they build the car to connect with manufacturing backend systems, Google and other social media.”

The only thing holding carmakers back from using these APIs is the challenge of driver authentication. Applications must be able to differentiate between drivers to avoid remotely accessing the wrong car, Rasmussen said. Security and safety also poses a problem.

“We [customers] need to know who is sitting in that car,” he added.

Ford Motors is already using an open source software platform that allows external developers to create imaginative apps, but it has said that it may shut down its gates in the future.

Using APIs for extra revenue

Additionally, Rasmussen observed that customers across all industries are beginning to open APIs to external developers, forcing them to become more agile and iterate rapidly.

“We [customers] want an application lifecycle where we can post changes to applications on a daily basis rather than on a weekly or monthly [basis]. We are talking to companies about a number of updates a day.”

IT is increasingly feeling pressure to push application releases to “protect the brand” and “signal that you are an API company and that you are an efficient company”, Rasmussen said.

'Airing your dirty underwear'

Outdated applications are damaging to a business’ reputation, he added.

Rasmussen said: “If you have dirty underwear people will see it. You cannot write bad applications. You cannot expose that to any customer or partner. That is your brand, and your most important asset you can have is your brand.”

CA Technologies announced a new API management software during its flagship conference CA World in Las Vegas this week. Its CA API Developer portal is available through the cloud, promising businesses a cost-effective means to open new revenue streams and better customer-facing products, supported by enterprise-grade security.

It also unveiled a CA Mobile API Gateway for multiple devices; a partnership with Samsung that offers end-to-end security from backend systems to the Android device and a CA Mobile Device management system.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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