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Carmakers’ plans for connected car data could impact fleet industry, says BVRLA

Future plans by carmakers on making connected car data accessible to third parties could impact on the fleet industry, according to the BVRLA.

Connected car

The BVRLA says it has serious concerns about the implications of the ACEA’s plans on leasing and rental companies.

Last week saw the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) publish its position paper on vehicle data access outlining how carmakers feel that data can be provided for third parties to meet the needs of service providers while protecting drivers’ personal data and the intellectual property rights of the vehicle manufacturer.

In the document the ACEA sets out that repair and maintenance information that is made available to the vehicle manufacturer’s network of authorised repairers will be made available to independent aftermarket operators on non-discriminatory conditions in accordance with EU law.

It adds that personal data of vehicle users will be made available to service providers only with the consent of the vehicle user except where a legal requirement or a contract exists.

The document sets out that service providers who use vehicle data for commercial purposes shall compensate vehicle manufacturers for all costs incurred.

And it says the service providers should have the choice between accessing data directly through the vehicle manufacturer’s server or via ‘neutral’ servers that would gather the data from vehicle manufacturers’ servers.

In response, the BVRLA outlined its view that “access to connected vehicle data will be a vital enabler in delivering the fleet management and mobility services of the future” and said it has serious concerns about the potential implications ACEA’s scenario could present for vehicle owners and their ability to access a range of independent repairers or develop innovative vehicle data-based services.

“We completely agree with ACEA’s assertion that access to vehicle data needs to be provided in a standardised format that is safe, secure and provides fair competition,” said BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney.

“We have significant concerns over how OEMs plan to assert complete control over access to vehicle data using their cloud-based server or ‘extended vehicle platform’.

“This may be addressed by ACEA’s reference to the concept of an independently operated ‘neutral server’ that could gather data from vehicle manufacturers, providing multi-brand access.”

The BVRLA is already working with its members to explore potential use cases for connected vehicle data and how access to this data should be provided. The association is also liaising with a range of fleet and motoring organisations in the UK. Leaseurope, which represents the BVRLA and similar national trade bodies across Europe, is co-ordinating activity in Brussels.

“Survey after survey has shown that vehicle owners think connected vehicle data belongs to them and they should decide who it is shared with. They also want to preserve their freedom in choosing where their vehicle gets repaired,” added Keaney.

“The ACEA paper refers to ‘vehicle users’ but makes almost no reference to vehicle owners. It is now imperative that motor manufacturers start addressing the specific data access requirements of a very significant group of vehicle owners and purchasers – leasing and rental companies.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.