The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) says research shows drivers are concerned that vehicle data transmitted to manufacturers via telematics may be used by other organisations such as dealers, insurance companies and law enforcement.
In response to the research findings, the association is doubling down on its push to have telematics included in the draft legislation of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information Sharing Scheme.
“This is a growing and largely concealed practice and government should respond before the car makers simply embed this technology without our knowledge or our permission,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of the AAAA.
“How many car owners know that their vehicle has a SIM card? How many are asked if they are okay about that?”
According to the AAAA, telematics can be used for multiple purposes, including vehicle performance and location, theft reduction, safety, and to manage fleet productivity and fuel efficiency. However, the association says the Australian vehicle repair industry is concerned about the ability to monitor the vehicle’s performance and direct consumers to a manufacturer’s site or manufacturers’ approved site for repair.
The industry argues that diagnostic information transmitted wirelessly instead of through the OBD (on-board diagnostics) port should be made available to a consumer’s repairer of choice.
“Diagnosing faults before real damage can occur is a good value-add service for drivers but only if they give their permission for this to occur and they can choose where that data is sent. For me, I want that functionality, but I want it to go to my mechanic, not to the foreign-owned car maker,” said Charity.
The AAAA says Australia should follow the lead of the US state of Massachusetts by including telematics in the Australian draft legislation of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information Sharing Scheme. According to the association, doing so will help “future-proof” the law.
“Massachusetts passed the Right to Repair Act in 2012 and had to go back and vote to include telematics. We believe that if our legislation doesn’t include telematics it could be redundant by the time it passes through the Senate. We should learn from the experience of our US colleagues and only vote once,” said Charity.
Key findings from the AAAA survey:
- Australian consumers were unaware that data was constantly captured and sent to manufacturers.
- Seventy-four per cent of consumers believe they should have access to vehicle data.
- It appears somewhat acceptable for the manufacturer, repairer, roadside assistance and/or emergency services to access this information, but there is a real hesitancy to allow law enforcement, family members and the selling dealership to have access.
- Drivers appear comfortable sharing information pertaining to vehicle maintenance with their mechanic (both reactively and proactively diagnosing issues), but there is some discomfort in sharing other data such as giving an insurer access to their driving style (using information such as their speed, acceleration and braking) to calculate premiums.
- Twenty-nine per cent believed vehicle manufacturers should have access to the data.
- Seventy-seven per cent were in favour of the vehicle owner choosing who has access to the vehicle’s data, with seven per cent opposed.
- Fifty per cent were okay with data being shared as long as it was for a specific purpose, with 21 per cent saying the data should not be shared no matter the circumstance.
- Seventy-one per cent were extremely or very concerned about the risks of data sharing and are concerned about the data being sold to a third party to be used for commercial purposes.
Click here to see the AAAA Connected Cars and Data Sharing Consumer Survey infographic.