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Monopoly on in-car data a "serious threat" to competition, says coalition

in-car data

Manufacturer monopolised access to vehicle data jeopardises competition, innovation and consumer choice according to a coalition of insurers, the automotive aftermarket, dealers, leasing companies and consumers.

The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association and European Association of Automotive Suppliers recently announced a common technical architecture that would see all in-vehicle data channelled through the vehicle manufacturer’s proprietary server.

Only part of the data generated would then be sent to a ‘neutral server’ and be accessible for independent operators.

Now a coalition led by CECRA, the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs, has concluded that “this solution undermines vehicle owners’ right to decide who they share their data with and for what purposes”.

A statement issued by the council stated: “We also consider this to be a serious threat to competition, innovation and consumer choice in the digital era.

“Today, vehicle manufacturers and their partner suppliers compete on the market for a wide range of vehicle-related services and products (e.g. financial, leasing, insurances, diagnostics, replacement parts etc.) that are increasingly reliant on real time in-vehicle data.

“In this new digital age, it is not sufficient to only have direct access to the in-vehicle data only through an interoperable physical interface – a digital communication lifeline is also needed.”

CECRA said that an open-access platform was the right way forward, ensuring the same  high level of safety, security, liability and data protection as the vehicle manufacturers’ solution, whilst safeguarding competition, innovation and consumer choice.

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