Tussle for in-vehicle data hits high gear in era of the connected car

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A BMW spokesman said the carmaker would like all sides to sit down with a mediator such as the European Commission and hammer out a list of data points that is acceptable to everyone.

Stellantis chief executive Carlos Tavares told reporters on March 11 that the carmaker aggregated data, which cost money, and so needed to be paid for it. He cited, as an example, data that Stellantis sells to cities to measure how often anti-lock braking systems are engaged at junctions and gauge which are the most dangerous.

“It is not only collecting the data, (but) it is also about crunching the data in a way that is going to create value for somebody willing to pay for it,” Mr Tavares said.

Yet other companies in the auto ecosystem, such as ALD, say they want the EU to ensure a level playing field. ALD, in the process of buying Dutch rival LeasePlan to give it a combined fleet of 3.5 million vehicles, has a car-sharing platform that needs to run diagnostics, read the odometer, check the fuel gauge and switch cars between users.

It also offers an insurance product that lowers your premium based on good driving behaviour – monitoring how you accelerate and brake.

“Access to data is absolutely key for us to provide the services we do today,” Mr Albertsen said.

To extract car data, ALD plugs a wireless “dongle” into the vehicle that transmits information to an in-house developed platform that it pays United States start-up Vinli to operate. Carmakers running similar services get that data directly, putting ALD at a competitive disadvantage, Mr Albertsen said.

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