Before launching your integration, we recommend using Smartcar’s Vehicle Simulator to test your application on a simulated vehicle. With the Simulator, you can choose the vehicle’s region, make, model and year as well as the trip type to test with. Watch your simulated vehicle travel along the trip in real-time from the Smartcar Dashboard as you test API requests from your application with realistic vehicle data responses.

1. Create a simulated vehicle

Create a simulated vehicle

Begin by logging into the Smartcar Dashboard and navigating to the Simulator tab. Choose your region and select a Smartcar-compatible vehicle using the Make, Model, and Year dropdowns. Or, use the VIN search feature to create a simulated vehicle of the same Make, Model and Year as the VIN entered, as long as the vehicle is compatible with Smartcar. Please note the VIN search is only available for US-based VINs at this time.

Review the vehicle capabilities

Confirm the vehicle’s supported capabilities includes those you wish to test.

Select a trip type

Select from one of four available trips for your simulated vehicle. The trips vary in duration from 8 to 24 hours and include driving, charging, and parked vehicle states for a wide range of test scenarios.

2. Connect your app to the simulated vehicle

Once you’ve selected a vehicle and trip type, you are ready to connect the simulated vehicle to your application for testing.

Grab the simulated vehicle credentials On the simulation screen, you will find a Connect Credentials button that will open a modal containing the simulated vehicle’s credentials. You will need these to connect your app and vehicle using Smartcar Connect.

Launch Smartcar Connect in simulated mode

When launching Smartcar Connect, pass in the query parameter mode=simulated to enable simulated mode and ensure you can connect to your newly created simulated vehicle. Smartcar’s SDKs provide a convenient option to facilitate this:

const client = new smartcar.AuthClient({
  clientId: CLIENT_ID,
  clientSecret: CLIENT_SECRET,
  redirectUri: REDIRECT_URI,
  mode: "simulated",

Log into a connected services account

After launching Smartcar Connect, select the brand that matches your simulated vehicle and enter the credentials pulled from the Smartcar Dashboard simulation screen on the brand login page. You will then be prompted to grant access to your selected permissions.

Upon completing the Smartcar Connect flow, return to the Smartcar Dashboard. It may take up to a minute to reflect that your vehicle is now connected. Once connected, the vehicle ID will appear next to the vehicle’s VIN near the top of the simulation screen.

3. Start the simulated trip and begin testing

Once the vehicle is connected to your application, you are ready to start the simulated trip and begin making API requests to the simulated vehicle.

Start the simulated trip

In the Smartcar Dashboard on the simulation screen for your selected simulated vehicle, start the trip by pressing the Play button. You have the option to pause, resume or restart the trip at any time. Additional controls you have over the simulated trip:

Control the trip speed

You can control the trip’s speed in case you would like to test the vehicle at various stages of the trip at a faster or slower pace.

Change the trip stage

Once the trip has started, you can jump to any stage of the trip in the event you would like to test the vehicle in a particular state.

Set the API response latency

Control the response latency of any API requests you make to the simulated vehicle.

Ideal - API responses are returned immediately upon request.

Realistic - API responses are delayed a certain amount of time based on average API response latency statistics that Smartcar has gathered for each supported brand.

A breakdown of estimated response latencies can be viewed by clicking on the ‘View latencies’ link directly underneath the Request Latency dropdown in the Dashboard. Please note latency estimates may not be available for all brands. In these cases, the Realistic setting will return immediate responses — same as Ideal.

Change the trip type

You can select a different trip type for your simulated vehicle at any time. Select the Edit icon in the Trip Type card on the simulation screen.

Send an API request to the simulated vehicle

The Smartcar API will return realistic data matching the current state of the simulated vehicle as displayed on the simulation screen. Note that if you’ve selected Realistic API response latency, the data returned to your application may appear somewhat delayed.