Datas : Connectivity is still a fantasy

Muriel Blancheton

In a European IAM market estimated at €241 billion, data generated by vehicles will have a multiplying effect. Except that behind this coveted data, connectivity is still limited to the eCall function. And the wishful thinking of a car that will produce expensive data now looks to be a fantasy. 

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"When they are ready and out of their manufacturer mindset in relation to the data they hold, dealers will have the keys to IAM" is a phrase we often hear. It is all about connected vehicles and their generous data, a free-flowing business for those who have taken their share of the cake, the possibility of reselling to third parties or of multiplying new services. Admittedly, the resale of data will be subject to European regulation imposing balanced competition, transparency, and easier access thanks to the Data Act, with simplified management of user consent. But the potential windfall exists! Before 2020, an average driver's monthly spend on connected services was estimated at €12 per month.

A potential windfall to be exploited if the cars are connected

The vehicles still have to be “connected”. According to Caruso*, this is far from the case! "The connectivity of a vehicle is currently limited to its eCall function, with a SIM card that does not allow for the extraction of exploitable data to develop services" observes Gwenael de Calan, the head of sales for Caruso. Evolution is too slow, apart from premium brands such as BMW or Daimler. Mainstream brands are at the back of the pack. Only Ford has really got into the starting blocks and announced that 100% of its models will be equipped with telematics worthy of the name. So why are the others so slow? The prohibitive cost of onboard telematics at $150 for an entry-level vehicle, the fear of sharing, a lack of interest, even a total ignorance of the existence of the device. These all result in the system rarely being activated by users. An odd situation.

*After-sales digital platform that brings together Bosch, Continental, ZF with Openmatics, Schaeffler, JimDrive, Werbas, TecAlliance, LKQ, ATR and Mobivia.

Some learning still needed

If telematics have been deployed massively on-board HGVs, there is still a lot of educational work to be done on fleets that could serve as a mass distribution channel. “Provided there too that the managers take the subject to heart. Some still think you need a dongle! Extended connectivity has some big advantages, for insurers for example who are working hard to fine-tune remote risk management and adjust their insurance policies. Some vehicles already transmit precise details of damage to the vehicle and the parts to be replaced. One manufacturer even offers a repair offer with parts ordered and costs covered up to 95%! No need for expensive assessors! But it remains to be seen who will win the prize for sharing data. Will it be the manufacturers, GAFAM, IAM or the market places?

Muriel Blancheton
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