Drivers Want Ownership Over Data Connected Cars Collect – Survey

The majority of US car owners want complete access to the information complied by connected vehicles, according to a survey of 4,500 consumers that asked about how companies are collecting and using all this data.

The report, commissioned by industry trade group Auto Care Association (ACA) and conducted by Ipsos in August, found 86% of consumers think vehicle owners should have access to driver and vehicle data, also known as telematics.

Telematics, a wireless technology, aims to make driving safer through monitoring and data collection, including maintenance and repair information.

However, the report also indicated there is widespread confusion as to what telematics is and who is in control of the data being collected. For instance, nearly three-quarters of survey respondents had no idea what telematics means.

Even when provided with a definition of the technology, 63% of respondents reported that they were still unfamiliar with telematics.

When it comes to control of telematics, the vast majority — 88% — of consumers surveyed believe a vehicle’s owner should decide who has access to this data, even though only vehicle manufacturers currently have direct access to telematics data.

“These results should be a wake-up call to automakers,” Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Association, noted in a statement. “At a time when Americans don’t see eye to eye on many issues, the results of this survey revealed a large majority of consumers support their right to gain full access to their vehicle data.”

The survey found 71% of respondents incorrectly assumed vehicle owners have access to telematics, which was greater than the percentage of respondents who assumed the vehicle manufacturer and the dealership have access to this data.

Nearly half of respondents – 45% — incorrectly believed vehicle owners own their car’s data.

In the announcement, Hanvey added that without the right to control where their data goes, car owners could face greater inconvenience, greater cost and fewer options for taking care of their vehicle.

The survey’s respondents also reported mixed feelings about advancements in vehicle technology.

While 80% of survey respondents agreed the technology in vehicles make them feel safer on the road, 70% reported that they believe technological advancements in vehicles are making drivers too dependent on safety features.

Although 59% of those surveyed reported that they specifically seek out new technology when deciding on a new vehicle, half of the consumers surveyed admitted they are still skeptical of the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on offer.

To address some of the issues found in the study, the ACA will soon host three separate demonstrations of the Secure Vehicle Interface (SVI), a platform that can enable vehicle owners and component makers to access a connected vehicle’s data.

The SVI is a collection of technical design standards that ensure vehicle data interfaces always enable safe, secure and standardized consumer access and control of the data their car generates.

The aim of the product is to allow drivers, parts makers, insurers and other elements of the automotive aftermarket direct access to CVs’ data, which the ACA alleges is increasingly being secretly hoarded by automakers.

— Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter.


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