fbpx “Data Access” Frequently Asked Questions | Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association

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What is telematics?
You probably know your phone, computer and other devices are constantly collecting your data. Did you know your vehicle does this, too? Telematics is the ability for vehicles to collect data and send it wirelessly to a destination on the cloud and/or outside the vehicle. This destination, in most cases, is the vehicle manufacturer.
 
What kinds of data do vehicles produce?
Your vehicle gathers information on how/where you drive, including things like GPS locations, steering, acceleration and braking. It also collects information on vehicle health, when select parts and systems start performing differently, when the vehicle needs repair and maintenance, emissions levels, engine hours, fuel use and more.
 
What other access is critical?
Access to software, diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), and part functions and features are critical to the engineering and manufacturing of quality parts used in the repair and service of vehicles. Access to software and DTCs are required to identify vehicle health and performance, which will enable repair professionals to properly service and maintain vehicles to ensure they can operate safely on the roads.
  
Why should I care?
For now, motorists and the aftermarket repair community can access vehicles’ onboard computers to access data to help with maintenance and repair. However, because of advanced technologies, vehicle data in late-model vehicles is now transmitted wirelessly and sent directly only to vehicle manufacturers, which denies independent service professionals and DIYers the ability to service and repair the vehicles. A loss of access to vehicles could be devastating to the motoring public because repair jobs could become very expensive because of the limited number of repair outlets that would be available.
 
The limited access also could be devastating to the independent aftermarket, which employees as many as 4.6 million jobs. Limiting data access to only OEMs or new vehicle dealers would create a monopoly on data, which would eliminate or at least drastically reduce customer choice and make it extremely difficult for independent businesses to compete and survive.
  
How much data does a modern vehicle collect?
Today’s modern vehicles collect as much as 25GB of data per hour, which is about the computing power of 30 personal computers, according to McKinsey. By 2022, 87 percent of new vehicles in the United States will be equipped with wireless technology that collects and reports extensive vehicle information, according to IHS Markit.
  
Do “non-modern vehicles” collect data?
Any vehicle with sensors, including older model vehicles, that track car temperature, position, speed and/or distance, can collect and transmit data.
  
Who has direct access to data transmitted by vehicles? Do vehicle owners own the data produced by their vehicle?
Today, only vehicle manufacturers have direct access to all vehicle data. People who own, lease or rent vehicles don’t own the data their vehicle produces as they drive. They cannot control where it is sent, how it is collected, how it is used or who sees it.
  
How does this affect vehicle owners?
Ultimately, it could mean vehicle owners are not able to choose who services their vehicles — or have fewer options from which to choose. Vehicle manufacturer-controlled data could be only made available to certain authorized repair facilities. This would drastically reduce competition in the repair market. With fewer choices, customers may be forced to pay more or having vehicles maintained and repaired at less convenient locations.
  
How will restricted consumer access to and control of vehicle data affect the independent auto care industry?
There are nearly 14 independent repair shops for every manufacturer-authorized repair facility in the United States. These businesses account for more than 70 percent of vehicle repairs performed in the country. Any system that enables vehicle manufacturers to have a monopoly of vehicle data will eliminate choice and make it extremely difficult for independent businesses to compete, jeopardizing the $305 billion aftermarket industry and the 4.6 million jobs it supports.
  
What is the aftermarket industry’s position on vehicle data?
AASA believes drivers should demand the right to transparency about the data collected from their cars, including what was collected, how it was used and with whom it was shared, among other rights. Drivers unwittingly generate new revenue streams for vehicle manufacturers every time they get behind the wheel. Read the full Driver Bill of Rights at YourCarYourData.org.
 
What can I do to support the aftermarket industry’s efforts to guarantee consumers have direct access to and control of their vehicle data?
Participants in the industry can help in several ways. First, demand direct access to and control of your own vehicle data by signing our petition at YourCarYourData.org. Then share the petition with your friends and family and tell them why they should take action. Once you’ve done that, tell your suppliers and customers to do the same. You’re a trusted source of information, and you can support AASA and the Auto Care Association and their joint Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice. education and advocacy campaign by using the assets available in the member toolkit to raise awareness about vehicle data among your company’s key stakeholders, especially customers. These are just a few examples of how you can help.
  
What is Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice.?
AASA and the Auto Care Association jointly manage the Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice. education and advocacy campaign, which was launched to engage vehicle owners, policymakers, the aftermarket industry and other stakeholders on vehicle-generated data. The campaign defines what it is, why it matters and the implications for consumer choice.
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