July 5, 2018

Connected Cars: Are drivers comfortable sharing their data?

Posted By: Shai Suzan CIO at Waycare

A connected car is a car that has Internet access, mainly with a wireless local area network. With this, the car can share internet access with other devices both in the car and outside it. It is likely that in future vehicles will also be connected using DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communication) with fast response times. (See our previous blog on DSRC).

But the question remains, what value will connected cars create? What unmet needs will this technology solve? How comfortable are drivers sharing their data? 

We won’t have definite answers to a lot of these questions but some early answers come from a U.S. survey done by Otonomo, an automotive data services platform. The results of the study were released on June 6. A fundamental question addressed by the survey is this: “in the wake of fierce controversies over the corporate use of personal data without individuals’ consent — what information will car owners be willing to share, and to what purpose?”

Here are some of the results.

  • Some two-thirds of respondents said it was “very important” for the company using their vehicle data to be trustworthy and to be transparent, stating openly what the data are used for and who has access to it.
  • Over three-quarters of connected-car owners were confident that car manufacturers would “[make] secure their data”.
  • Over 90% of connected-car owners wanted features that would alert them to dangerous driving conditions ahead, allow emergency responders to react more quickly to accidents, and alert them to needed maintenance or repairs.
  •  Some 86% of both new car buyers and connected-car owners are comfortable with navigation apps gathering information about their location, speed and destination.

Edison Research, which conducted the study, noted that “car manufacturers are among the most trusted in terms of how they treat customer data”. This is in sharp contrast, for instance, to social media.

Joy Rosner, a senior Otonomo manager, concludes: “Our study underscores the importance of transparency about how automotive companies are using and securing automotive data – vital to maintaining customer loyalty and trust.”

Social media have squandered this trust, creating a strategic threat to their business models and leading directly to new European Union privacy laws. Perhaps car companies will learn this lesson well in advance of the new technologies.

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