September 13, 2023

Smartcar's starter apps: Fast-track your mobility app development

Winona Rajamohan

Content Marketing Manager

Our mission of making it easier and faster for developers to build better apps for cars drives everything we do here at Smartcar. Our API eliminates the need for teams to build vehicle integrations from scratch and spend hundreds of hours standardizing vehicle data, creating documentation, and maintaining APIs long-term.

Smartcar’s comprehensive developer tools unlock significant time and cost savings for mobility businesses that want to serve a majority of vehicle makes and models on the road today. But we realized there’s more we can do for teams who don’t have the resources to start building applications on top of Smartcar’s platform right away.

With Smartcar’s starter apps, we’re excited to help customers fast-track their app development across our most popular use cases. Learn more about who our starter apps are for, and check out our demo videos below!

What do Smartcar’s starter apps do?

Our starter apps give developers a template to configure an application using our API endpoints and consent-based vehicle authorization flow. With these sample applications, you can begin exploring Smartcar’s extensive vehicle integration capabilities and familiarizing yourself with our API before building and customizing your unique application.

Getting started with these templates is easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Create a Smartcar account
  2. Watch the short tutorial videos below
  3. Access our starter apps on GitHub

Who are our starter apps for?

Smartcar’s starter apps are a great resource for teams to get their applications into production quickly, regardless of their experience level or project complexity.

We’ve seen both robust engineering organizations and early-stage startups scale category-defining solutions using our APIs. But we’ve learned that even with our ready-to-use endpoints, SDKs, and documentation, it can take time for businesses to rally up developer bandwidth for configuring our API.

We introduced our starter apps to help teams ramp up their output by:

Tackling any learning curves and unfamiliarity with the Smartcar API

If your developers have limited experience working with platforms like Smartcar, they would typically have to factor in additional time to understand our documentation and try our developer tools before beginning work on an application.

Our starter apps help developers learn by doing, regardless of their proficiency levels or existing skills. Teams can quickly get up to speed with our core endpoints and UI/UX elements and see real-world examples of our advanced customization features in action — like our brand-specific endpoints, Single Select, and Brand Select.

Overcoming time or bandwidth constraints for smaller developer teams

We know that speed is everything in a mobility industry that’s evolving fast to keep up with new automotive manufacturing targets and regulations — and we’ve had the privilege of witnessing emerging startups bring their ideas to life in weeks instead of months, even without starter apps.

For teams with little extra hours to spare on developments outside a core product or feature, Smartcar’s starter apps help you reap the benefits of a standardized connected car API without sacrificing speed-to-market. If you were hesitant about adopting a developer platform because of these limitations, there’s no better time to start than now.

Demo: How do you use our starter apps?

Here’s a quick rundown of instructions (and a short demo) to begin using Smartcar’s starter apps. Comprehensive documentation is available on GitHub 🚀

  1. Create an application on the Smartcar's Developer Dashboard to obtain your API keys.
  2. Set up a Node backend with Express and customize the Smartcar vehicle endpoints according to your solution’s requirements.
  3. Set up a React front end with Axios as the HTTP client and customize your Smartcar Connect flow for your specific use case.
  4. Explore our configuration files and start building your app!

Demo: Four templates, four popular Smartcar use cases

Our customers use the Smartcar API to power solutions that change how consumers interact with their vehicles. Vehicle owners and businesses use our endpoints daily to lower EV charging costs, accelerate vehicle maintenance, skip long car rental queues, and enroll in equitable auto insurance plans.

So we’ve created four pre-made configurations highlighting our integration across these rapidly evolving mobility industries: Auto insurance, energy and utilities, car sharing, and roadside assistance.

The video below explores how you can start customizing these configuration files!

Start building with Smartcar

We can’t wait to see all the exciting opportunities developers are exploring with our API. Whether you’re a business looking to grow your user base or an early-stage team eager to launch a groundbreaking new idea, we’re here to help.

Get started with our starter apps today, and don't hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions!

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