Sunday, April 21Serving the aftermarket

IAAF believes more can be done in new EU data access package

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has cautiously welcomed the European Commission’s third legislative Mobility Package which has just been published, covering a wide range of topics, including connected and automated driving.

The IAAF is encouraged by the Commission’s acknowledgement of the vehicle manufacturers’ privileged position on ‘access to car data and vehicle resources’ and the issues it raises for fair and equal competition, in particular in the form of centralised ‘extended vehicle data platform servers’.

However, it has serious concerns as the package fails to set out a clear legislative pathway to guarantee a level playing field for all digital products and services ‘around the car’, to ensure that consumers can decide who they share their car data with and for what specific services.

The Commission’s proposals reiterate previous statements found in its GEAR 2030 Report, and “falls significantly short” of what is required to ensure competitive digital services and products for drivers.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “Unless legislation is implemented on an interoperable, standardised, secure and safe digital in-vehicle telematics platform, then there is a serious threat to competition, innovation and consumer choice for mobility services and digital products. The time to act is now, as the volume of connected vehicles is rapidly increasing.

“We urge the Commission to act on its recommendation to “monitor the situation on access to in-vehicle data and resources” and deliver – also in line with the Parliament‘s Report on C-ITS – a concrete work programme leading to a legal framework enabling equal competition in digital services.”

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has said it is pleased to see that the European Commission is giving priority to ensuring safe and secure access to vehicle data in the third EU Mobility Package that was presented today.

In its new Communication ‘On the Road to Automated Mobility’, the Commission mentions the off-board model for sharing “in-vehicle data on so-called extended vehicle data platform servers” which is currently already being ‘implemented by several vehicle manufacturers’.

ACEA agrees with the Commission that the right approach to data access must ensure “safety and cybersecurity, in full compliance with the […] protection of personal data.” The body states that: “Our industry is convinced that this can only be achieved if relevant vehicle data are communicated to an off-board facility, from where service providers can access the data. This approach minimises safety and security risks in a way which no other method of access to vehicle data can accomplish.”

ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert, cautioned: “The safety of drivers and passengers is paramount to us. That is why we need to use this secure off-board model for data sharing.’ Jonnaert: ‘Giving third-parties direct and uncontrolled access to data in a moving vehicle is an open door for hackers. How well would you sleep at night with your front door wide open?”

The automobile industry is also committed to making vehicle data available to all service providers under the same conditions. ACEA members are currently working with their partners to ensure that the off-board access model ensures fair and undistorted competition between service providers.