Trust in Auto Brands Can Accelerate Connected Car Services

Carmakers are in the driving seat when it comes to persuading consumers to share their data when accessing connected car benefits.

That’s the view of Verex CEO, Mark Aryaeenia, who believes automakers have earned the trust of consumers from the minutes they commit to a particular brand. Speaking to TU-Automotive he agreed that data linked to car brand is the best way to package connectivity. He said: “Yes, because people have already committed to the brand experience and that’s a big investment. So, they have trusted that brand.”

Nonetheless, he also accepted carmakers have still a lot of work to do to educate consumers over the benefits connectivity and sharing data can bring them. Aryaeenia explained: “The challenges for automakers today is can they get the data out of the vehicles and for which particular use case. For example, if you are driving with user-based insurance by tracking people’s mileage you can get a weekly, monthly download file and you can start doing journey planning and route consumption and charging points along the way with energy you are going to use with an EV.”

He said the rapid advance of technology within the smartphone has also opened up the minds of consumers to sharing data from within an automobile. He added: “We have found that now automakers are working hard on getting the data out of the vehicle and they don’t have the data out of the vehicle or at the right frequency, there are alternative solutions in place. Here they can use technology within the mobile phone and that’s really moved forward rapidly over the last 18 months. Whereas, I never particularly believed in using mobile phones as a means of connected data, a black box or an OBD plugged in have been the traditional methods.

“However, technology within the mobile phone has become much more advanced and significantly more accurate. So there are methods, now, of collecting data and information in real time that can be put into a single point of reference, such as an app or whatever it is, that can support customers and drivers’ needs for insurance and, more so, for accident management.”

“So, I don’t see it as a big issue, I think the issue in the industry is more about what you do with the data. How much of that data do you need and do you need it in real time and it’s this that is the real challenge although that only has limited use cases today.”

Now the automakers have to focus on educating consumers over connected car benefits, said Aryaeenia. “There are negative connotations around collecting data and it’s putting consumers off. So, all of us need to educate people more about the benefits of sharing data. It’s all about selling these benefits. In crash management, for example, if we have data from the vehicle that shows us the circumstances around an accident and proves whether you were in the right or wrong or it can protect your life if you are stuck in ditch. The data is telling us in real time that you are in distress. Turning those things round and how data can benefit them in real time when someone can call them when they’ve had an accident rather than them having to call in.”

Day-to-day services are also a major selling point for connectivity, said Aryaeenia. “The next scenario with connected data is informing customers that the only legitimate interest in having that data are for these particular purposes: to help you with your route planning; to help you manage where you are going; if there is a fault with the vehicle we can integrate that data into a single point of reference; allowing you to route to where charge points are if you have an EV; integrating your energy usage in the vehicle so if you do an ‘x’ amount of miles you don’t want to be sent to an available charge point if it’s not working, which connected data will be able to tell you.

“It’s selling these positives to the consumer. The big difference is that people do trust the vehicle manufacturer in most cases particularly when it comes to insurance. People tend not to trust insurance companies as much as they trust the manufacturer. I think by bringing more and more certainties into one single place and educating consumers about the benefits of data and it’s convenience and how it can even help save their lives.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


3 comments

  1. Avatar Michael Mans 17th July 2021 @ 3:01 pm

    I noticed that the interviewee failed to mention that some automakers are essentially coercing the vehicle owner to ‘connect’. Much like when you “agree” to the terms and conditions of any phone app or download. You don’t have much of a choice in reality. He did mention about what will be done with the data. Yep…. you can bet your asp that the manufacturers aren’t using the data for the altruistic purposes of helping plan a journey. They’re going to update you on everything. They’re going to try and sell you auto insurance by referral to an insurance company. They’re going to sell your data to 3rd party marketers. So as anyone with a few working brain cells can see, they want and will get your data whether you agree to or not, when you purchase their product. Vehicles had a lot less headaches and trouble when there were no computers in the them.

    • TU-Editor TU-Editor 19th July 2021 @ 6:09 am

      Almost all the views you express about data privacy already exist with our smartphones. Many consumers will see the connected car as simply an extension of their phone’s connectivity and appear to feel happier to share that data with the automakers whose brands they trust more than with other third party organizations. Of course, I agree, that sharing personal data is up to the individual and sticking with classic vehicles, as do I, is one way of ensuring you can limit your connectivity!

  2. Avatar Sebastian Schneider 19th July 2021 @ 5:52 pm

    I agree with both above-mentioned opinions. Our smartphones already provide a lot of data to numerous third-parties WITHOUT giving me as the end-user much of a benefit on the road. Modern connected cars could offer so much more but most native or insurance built experiences are so limited in terms of real benefits, savings and life-saving potential that customers are simply not interested or even willing to use the services. However, I still disagree with the author about the potential of OBDII devices. They can still help bridge the gap to the more than 80% still unconnected or soon-to-be disconnected 2G/3G-enabled vehicles. But everyone in the industry is just too narrow-minded about single business cases … Guys – there’s so much more out there if there was more collaboration!!!

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