Auto makers do not have long term plans of sharing the in-car data infotainment systems collect about the drivers with the technology partners that help them build that systems, including Google Inc and Apple Inc, a recent report shows.
The automotive industry instead has big plans of monetizing that data and making billions off of it. Their tech partners have already monetized user data they had gathered from smartphone applications and services, but they still want some more.
Digitally connected cars have a huge potential for both tech companies. So, the companies hoped that the troves of commercial data they may collect in the process would have boosted their yearly revenues, as well.
Yet, car makers do not want to allow the tech companies dive deeper into their cars’ dashboards and the info that infotainment systems such as Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay collect about drivers and the cars.
While some of the car makers explicitly said that they won’t share the data on their cars’ braking system, range, and steering ability with Google or Apple, some even started developing their own infotainment systems that currently supplement the existing systems such as Ford’s Sync 3.
“We need to control access to that data. We need to protect our ability to create value,”
argued Ford’s Don Butler, who is in charge with the company’s division of connected vehicles and services.
And that “value” may translate into billions of dollars to the industry. For instance, General Motors Co reported to shareholders earlier this year that the commercial data generated by their digitally connected cars should result in an additional 350 million dollars in the next three years.
According to a report recently released by the research firm AlixPartners globally the said data should bring the industry more than $40 billion a year by 2018. A couple of years ago, the same data generated $16 billion in revenue worldwide. So, why would anybody want to share it with anybody?
AlixPartners researchers explained in their report that car makers may also be concerned that tech companies may learn more about their business model and may siphon off their clients. Google already tests its fleet of self driving cars on public roads, while earlier this year Apple also demonstrated interest in the car market.
Auto makers want to make as much cash as possible from the data they pick about their customers. One plan involves selling that data to insurance companies so the latter can learn how to better adjust their rates depending on a driver’s behavior in traffic.
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