Consumer interests ‘not at centre’ of access to vehicle data discussions

A group of European automotive associations have expressed concerns that consumers’ interest are not being placed at the centre of discussions around the possible technical solutions to access in-vehicle data. In addition to undermining free consumer choice, the solution promoted by some stakeholders would also undermine competition, innovation and independent entrepreneurship.

With European parts suppliers and vehicle manufacturers (VMs) recently presenting a common technical architecture to access in-vehicle data, the coalition comprising Figiefa, which IAAF is a member of, has critiqued the proposal and is now calling upon the European Institutions to create a robust, regulatory framework for a standardised, secure and safe digital in-vehicle telematics platform.

The initial platform intended by the eCall Mandate was promised to ensure true consumer choice, independent entrepreneurship, competition and to maintain innovation for all services ‘around the car’.

However, the option put forward would not allow the automotive aftermarket direct communication with the vehicle and still grants VMs full control to decide how, when and to whom data access will be granted.

In addition to undermining free consumer choice, the coalition’s view is that the solution promoted would also undermine competition, innovation and independent entrepreneurship.

The undersigned coalition consists of powerful and influential aftermarket associations including: European Independent Data Publishers Association (ADPA), European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs (CECRA), European Garage and Test Equipment Association (EGEA), Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Automotive Aftermarket Distributors (FIGIEFA), European insurance and reinsurance federation (Insurance Europe) and finally European Federation of Leasing Company Associations (Leaseurope).

The coalition has suggested that the platform is based on the existing VMs’ telematics systems using the highest possible security standards as many manufacturers allow chosen partners to operate their own systems and applications in their vehicles, thus proving that safe and secure, direct access is possible without interfering with the vehicle’s functions.

With a firm stance to guarantee safety and security in the deployment of connected vehicles, the coalition believes that an ‘in-vehicle interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform’ would ensure the same high level of safety, security, liability and data protection as the VMs’ solution, while safeguarding competition, innovation and consumer choice.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “The common technical architecture currently presented by European parts suppliers and VMs does not offer vehicle owners the freedom to choose who they share their data with and for what purpose. It also threatens the future of the independent aftermarket as workshops are not offered the opportunity to access a vehicle’s in-vehicle data in real-time. We will continue to work alongside the coalition to ensure the rights of the consumer and aftermarket are heard and protected against this immediate threat.”

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