Russian Regulators set Standard for Automotive Bigdata

The package of Russian national standards issued late last year establishes a regulatory framework for collection, storage and use of vehicle and road related data.

The scheme named Platform Autodata prescribes data producers such as telematic providers, automakers, road agencies and others to keep data in an integrated federal database, available to other parties. Joining datasets from all parties will give a boost to the national market of big data, believes project head Alexander Gurko, co-chairman of NTI Autonet and president of Glonass Union: “The Autodata is an ‘enabler’ for service and app developers.”

In this, international analysts support his sentiment. “Big data’s value grows exponentially when datasets provided by two or more entities are used in combination,” said Konstantin Shirokinskiy, partner at Roland Berger in Detroit. “One example of such synergy can be processing of telematic data on driving style together with data from safety cameras or weather factors.”

Many promising business ideas in the transportation market rely heavily on availability of certain kinds of data. Well-known use cases exist in EV charging, accurate positioning, augmented reality, smart city elements and predictive maintenance, among others.

Commercial boost

While boosting commerce in the field, the Autodata itself is projected to be a non-commercial system: “Creating datasets of quality, legally valid data is feasible only if the data operator is neutral towards other market players,” said Gurko. A similar paradigm has for years been used in the Russian auto insurance market. The insurers jointly maintain a data base containing information on car owners and their vehicles from traffic police and financial institutions, among other sources. Data is available to any alliance member for a fee as small as 0.5 rubles (less than $0.01) per request.

Not surprisingly, the insurance industry is a strong supporter for the Autodata. “If there was a law for everyone to throw data into the pot, the demand would certainly grow,” said Dmitry Rudenko, CEO at Absolut Strakhovanie. He illustrated his point with his own needs: “We’re ready to buy and process about 70 parameters of the vehicle-owner combination including vehicle color, mileage and regular routes. And we’re ready to pay for it.”

However, in other regions of the world, use cases exist of data aggregators operating commercially. A data processing system by LexisNexis in the US or 3 Smart concept by Human Horizons in China are two good examples.

Data producers oppose the project

Should the project come to a successful launch, it would ramp up the federal government as a representative of vehicle owners in the matter of data storage and management. The legal foundation for such a step was a resolution taken by the Autodata working group in 2019 that vehicle owners are also rightful owners of the vehicle-related data – instead of commending it to the aforementioned data producers.

However, the project faces joint opposition of the latter including automakers and dealers, telematics and MaaS providers. The federal ministry of transport also camps with them, objecting to share data produced at smart road elements.

The thinking of data producers can be simply put as “we don’t want to be forced to pay for the data generated by us”. Russian dealers call for a Western-style solution. “It’s no secret that there’s a number of EU directives stating a right of those who generate data to participate in data monetization,” said Vladislav Ridaev, vice-president for the association Russian Automobile Dealers ROAD. “That gives them confidence that they’re included in the added value chain.” A similar mechanism has recently been taken up by the US automakers and their dealers, he added.

The problem is, owning data is largely different from owning any physical property. With certain types of data, it’s difficult in many cases to clearly identify an owner – like with footage from traffic cameras. “Whatever we (as a nation) agree upon will be the case,” said Victor Vasiliev, legal and GR director at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Rus.

With the conflicts unsolved, non-commercial nature of the Autodata poses a question of financing its development and maintenance. The two potential investors are the government or the consortium of data producers and consumers. Both may be reluctant to pay. The Russian state’s budget for 2021 is weak. As to the consortium, opposition of data producers can bring the project to a full stop.

For now, the project is approved by the government to proceed into 2021 with actual development, legislative preparation and early pilots in the areas of predictive diagnostics, traffic regulation and usage-based insurance.

One comment

  1. Avatar Peter 27th January 2021 @ 8:54 am

    A very dangerous development. Anonymized telematics data is very easy to link back to individuals because of start and stop address. Basically it will turn out to be a very useful surveillance system, especially when it is in one big database within one organization.

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