Steve Jobs set a landmark over ten years ago when he allowed external developers first-time access to Apple’s programming tool kit. Within just a few days, the iOS Software Development Kit (SDK) had been downloaded over 100,000 times. The purpose of this tool kit was to give developers access to a host of programming interfaces with which they could develop their ideas for creative and useful apps for the iPhone. Since then, this has led to the successful implementation of thousands of innovative features without which the day-to-day lives are now scarcely imaginable for many people.
This same approach is now being adopted by Mercedes-Benz. The company will be one of the first automotive manufacturers to allow software developers around the world to access its own mobile Software Development Kit. At a 24-hour hackathon at the IAA 2019, selected teams were for the first time allowed access to the Mercedes-Benz Mobile SDK with various interfaces to the vehicle. This SDK will be provided to the developer community via the Mercedes-Benz /developer-Platform (https://developer.mercedes-benz.com) and GITHUB.
The goal is to enrich the Mercedes me offer with additional external services to create an even better and more convenient service and product experience for our customers. “Already today, Mercedes me delivers countless digital services such as switching on the auxiliary heating from anywhere, sending a destination to the vehicle via Amazon Alexa or Google Home, finding a roadside parking space using real-time information, opening, closing and starting the vehicle by smartphone (NFC) or sharing one’s vehicle with friends and acquaintances. We feel sure that the large global developer community has the potential to come up with a host of creative and innovative ideas for new Mercedes me offers that will delight our customers in future,” says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales & Marketing.
The aim is to make even greater use of this creative potential in future. The Mercedes-Benz Mobile SDK, a kind of tool kit for simplified software development, provides developers with various programming interfaces to the vehicle. The information made available in this way includes for example the fuel level and the mileage driven. With the mobile SDK also giving access to basic functions such as the Mercedes me ID login, the young start-ups and software experts can focus entirely on developing new business ideas.
Security always the top priority
Standing above all else, however, is the issue of security: “Hence talking about the Mercedes-Benz Mobile SDK and the chance to provide access between the vehicle itself and the outside world all will be assessed and proceeded through the Daimler Vehicle Backend, which is protected by appropriate security mechanisms. The data is also stored on this secure server. We employ the known IT security mechanisms in accordance with the latest recommendations of the BSI (German Federal Office for Information Security),” stresses Sajjad Khan, Executive Vice President, Member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, CASE.
The focus of Mercedes-Benz developers is on the customer and therefor anticipating customers’ needs already at the design stage of connected services. For this reason, all systems and services are developed from the beginning with the high data protection standards in mind. It is the customer alone who decides which of their data is made available to third parties via the Daimler Backend, allowing them to benefit of valuable functions. This applies to all offers developed by Mercedes-Benz.
Source: Daimler AG