Brussels, 19th April 2018. A broad coalition comprising vehicle dealers, automotive aftermarket and mobility services operators, the European insurance industry, the European representations of both motorist consumers and SMEs, is urging EU decision-makers to act decisively to establish fair and equal access to in-vehicle data and resources, amidst concerns that effective competition, innovation and free consumer choice are currently not being placed at the heart of its agenda.
In order to continue offering the high level of competitive services demanded by their customers, together with improved operational safety and environmental compliance, all independent service providers ‘around the car’ must be able to compete on an equal footing with vehicle manufacturers (VMs) by continuing to access the vehicle, its data and functions in an independent and direct manner. This would allow the development of new competitive digital services resulting in true consumer choice and enabling consumers to fully decide with whom they share their data.
However, all this would not be possible with the model put forward by VMs, the so-called ‘Extended Vehicle’, which will channel all future communication and data access through their own backend server. As such, this would prevent all other independent service providers from offering competing services to consumers, as only a small part of the vehicle-generated data will be shared with them, compared to the data available to the VMs. Also, direct real-time communication with the vehicle/its functions/the driver is prevented.
The coalition has therefore launched a Manifesto urging EU decision-makers, and in the first instance the EU Commission, to ‘act now’ by introducing pertinent requirements aiming to establish in the coming years the “interoperable, standardised, secure and open access telematics platform” set out in the 2015 EU eCall Regulation in order to ensure a level playing field. This solution would maintain consumer choice, independent entrepreneurship, competition and innovation for all services ‘around the car’, whilst ensuring the same high level of safety, security, liability and data protection as the VMs use themselves. According to the Commission’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) Study Report, it is the only solution that would allow equal opportunities for independent service providers and true competitive choice for consumers, but it requires legislative intervention.
The Call to Action by the Coalition asks:
- For the European Commission to start working on a robust regulatory framework for an interoperable, standardised, secure and safe on-board application platform. High Level Principles and Requirements should be enshrined now into the Data/Third Mobility Package upon which the work can be triggered so that a solution will be in place without undue delay to address the rapidly increasing number of connected vehicles in the automotive service and mobility markets.
- In the meantime and until such a platform is in place, there should be a ‘right to do business’, and vehicle manufacturers should give as from 1.1.2020, non-discriminatory access to the in-vehicle telematics systems used by themselves, and to those in-vehicle systems and interfaces which they allow third party service providers access to.
- To adopt a sound definition of Remote Diagnostic Support (RDS), which is currently being discussed with DG GROW as a follow-up of the new Vehicle Type-Approval Regulation, enabling the remote, direct bi-directional communication with the vehicle via a standardised in-vehicle interface to conduct a remote diagnostics analysis.
This ‘Call for Action’ is also in line with the European Parliament’s TRAN Committee Report on C-ITS which calls upon the Commission to publish a legislative proposal on access to in-vehicle data and resources by the end of this year.
The coalition upholds that the current telematics data access model – controlled and operated by car manufacturers – prevents independent businesses from embracing digital opportunities, jeopardises consumer choice, innovation and a prosperous EU digital economy. It’s clear what is at stake here. “Our solution is for fair and equal access to vehicle telematics, to ensure safety and security is maintained, whilst safeguarding competition, innovation and consumer choice. It is therefore crucial that competition, innovation and consumer interests must be put back at the heart of the EU Digital Single Market”.
Please find here the Manifesto.