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Fleet industry needs open dialogue on standards for connected car data, says Chevin

So says fleet software specialist Chevin, pointing out that connected data will start to become available soon and basic questions remain unanswered including who should have access to the information, who owns it and whether industry standards should be put in place.

Ashley Sowerby, managing director at Chevin, said: “This is quite a complex subject and something that those involved in the fleet sector such as manufacturers and technology companies should be starting to discuss now.

“There are all kinds of arguments to consider. For example, if there had been public access to the environmental performance of fleet cars, then the recent diesel emissions scandals would probably not have remained hidden for so long.

“However, there will also be parties who want to keep close control over their data for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from basic concerns over information security through to less open-handed motives.”

Sowerby explained that Chevin currently held operational data on more than 850,000 vehicles that were managed using its FleetWave software, so had some experience of the kind of issues that connected vehicle data could bring.

“Clearly, the data that we hold has a commercial value. We can access information on how thousands of different types of vehicles operate in real world conditions.

“From time to time, we have been approached by organisations who would like access to that data and we have refused but it shows that there is an appetite for the kind of information that the connected car and van will provide.

“Our feeling is that it is best to start having an open dialogue across the industry now, raising some of the concerns that are bound to arise, rather than stumbling into compromises as that data starts to flood in as connected vehicles start to become common place. Making decisions now could pay dividends later on.”

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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.