OEMs look to data monetisation as loopholes close

08 May 2017

08 May 2017 With the automotive market becoming more and more connected, while vehicles transmit more data than ever, manufacturers are using information received to add extra revenue streams to their portfolios through data monetisation. Now, a number of startups are developing apps and interfaces such as smart-phone pairing, or offering prognostics services, all areas where the information transmitted by the vehicle can be captured and used by third parties. While over-the-air (OTA), human-machine interface (HMI) and connected services generate direct revenue streams, Big Data analytics will help save costs and accelerate returns on investments for automotive original equipment manufacturers. In Europe, Telematics penetration is still growing in this region. Mass-market OEMs are able to offer basic eCall services (emergency services notifications), while premium OEMs are packaging connected navigation as a suite of connected services. However, while manufacturers are negotiating with technology companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon about integrating their control systems into vehicles, the German automotive association VDA is proposing a neutral cloud-based entity that categorizes, controls and distributes data generated. Meanwhile, access to the OBD port, which many third-party data gatherers use to transmit information through dongle devices, could be closed off when the vehicle is in motion, limiting access to vehicle systems and ensuring the only data transmitted by the vehicle is to an approved server. This could cause an issue with the vehicle repair market. Aftermarket suppliers and non-dealership garage networks are concerned that vehicle manufacturers will use prognosis systems to contact customers directly offering repair services, while limiting the data transmitted to the vehicle technicians that do not have backing of the OEM. Such action could also see vehicle servicing costs rise, as manufacturers either restrict data, pushing drivers into the more expensive franchised dealer networks, or they sell data on which pushes up independent repair costs. Speaking to the BBC in March 2017, Neil Pattemore, technical director at FIGIEFA, the European association representing car parts retailers and repair shops, commented: ′While the manufacturer is monitoring the car, it has the power to recommend its own spare parts. This is a privileged position and would distort the market. We exist to offer consumers choice – it’s about freedom of where you want to get your car repaired.’ Andy Turbefield, head of quality and training at Halfords Autocentres, spoke at SMMT Connected in April 2017, saying: ′The independent aftermarket must have access to this data, be it directly from the vehicle or cloud based, and pricing for this must be fair and reasonable. OEMs are increasingly adding systems to their vehicles that are pre-empting repair needs and we believe consumers should have the right to choose. While we accept manufacturers may integrate specific applications, the hardware in the vehicle should allow the consumer to install and utilise alternative apps. If, for example, parts selection is via the HMI, the consumer must be free to choose alternatives to those already loaded by the manufacturer. Retailers and repairers must also be able to offer their solutions to any problems. This will otherwise restrict consumer choice.’ With data security a key talking point as connected vehicles grow in popularity, manufacturers are able to find new ways to make money in the future, however the ability to please everyone may be more difficult to come by.

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