The tussle for in-car data hits high gear

STORY: Where you go, how you drive, what you’re listening to...your connected car knows you.

And your vehicle's data is very valuable,

not only to carmakers, but also to a coalition of insurers, leasing companies and repair shops, all vying to get their hands on it.

But with all this in-vehicle data available – who should have access to it?

The contest is entering a pivotal phase.

European Union regulators are looking to hammer out the world's first laws around web-enabled vehicles.

Car manufacturers have resisted specific regulations for in-vehicle data.

Reuters auto expert Nick Carey explains.

''Carmakers would like to have, I think, control over the data. The carmakers all say that they want to share data, that they want people to have drivers to have the decision of who gets access to the data. But they also make clear that the data has a great deal of financial value to them. Take Stellantis, the world's number four carmaker. What they've said is by 2030, that data will make up about 30 billion euros annually in revenue for them. Car makers argue that having made investments in connected cars, that they should be allowed to charge money. To aggregate that data and to sell it to other people."

On the other side, insurance companies want your data to assess your driving habits and alter your insurance premium accordingly.

Car hire companies could use connected car data to tell how much fuel is left in your tank before you even return the car.

And your preferred repair shop could even remotely run diagnostics on your vehicle using data your car emits.

While these companies are willing to pay for access to the data, they say charging what they deem unfair amounts for access could kill off competition for carmakers who already operate their own leasing firms, car subscription services and repair shops.

So how is the EU going to regulate how the data is monetized?

‘’What the companies lined up against the car makers want is for the EU to step in and regulate access to data, regulate how it's collected, regulate who gets access to it and how much they pay for it. What they want to do is pay the same amount that a captive car makers business would pay for it, and they want the EU to step in and make sure that what they describe as a level playing field for the car makers. The question is now whether the EU can actually regulate it in time. There will be European Parliament elections in just over two years time. So coming to coming up with a large piece of legislation like this and getting it over the finish line before those elections will be a major challenge for the EU. But that's what these companies want. They say that the data has immense value to everyone and they want they want to see it regulated.’’