Carmakers are reportedly limiting the amount of data given to tech companies as vehicle electronics become more and more linked with smartphones, in an attempt to protect data about their drivers, Reuters reports.
At the same time, predictions state that driver and vehicle data could become a very profitable industry in the future, possibly generating billions in revenue, so automotive manufacturers are trying to impede tech giants such as Google or Apple from foraying into their possible gold mine.
Apps such as Google’s Android Auto and Apple Car Play are already becoming more popular thanks to the powerful brand name they don, and it’s not a gush of panic but rather a stroke of realism which makes care manufacturers fear their effects. Multiple auto manufacturers have already openly stated that they will deny the companies access from vehicle related systems – such as steering, throttle and auto assists, for example – should they want to integrate them within apps which could monitor driver data.
“We need to control access to that data,” said Don Butler, Ford Motor Co’s executive director of connected vehicle and services. “We need to protect our ability to create value” from new digital services built on vehicle data,” Ford’s Don Butler told Reuters in a one-on-one interview.
Earlier this year, General Motors disclosed at an investor meeting the fact that it expects to get over $350 million in revenue during the next three years from data connection services it is incorporating in to its vehicles. And they are not the only overly optimistic about prospects, with consultant firm AlixPartners estimating that global revenue from such services will increase to $40 billion per year in 2018, up from just $16 billion in 2013, Reuters explains.
In-vehicle data can be marketed in multiple ways, the Reuters article explains, from offering relevant travel planning services to mapping dealerships or giving significant area information. But the great pay-off may be towards insurance services, with driver statistics and behavior possibly proving as an invaluable tool in setting their rates for individual cases.
Several manufacturers have also chosen only to offer minimal information to third party systems, such as GPS coordinates or notification of when the car goes into reverse gear, for the purpose of rear-view video apps. General Motors, for example, is reportedly integrating such systems into its vehicles without offering their manufacturers possibility of collecting any kind of data from them.
Meanwhile, Apple is assuring its CarPlay users that it collects only data necessary for the service to function, doing so anonymously and without connecting it to its other systems, Reuters also notes.
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