The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has lent its voice to a broad industry coalition, including automotive industry and mobility services operators, insurers, motorist consumers and SMEs, calling upon the EU Commission for fair and equal access to in-vehicle data and resources.
The newly-launched manifesto comes amidst concerns that effective competition, innovation, road safety, a ‘green’ digital economy and free consumer choice are currently not being placed at the heart of the Commission’s 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 operators within the entire automotive supply chain must be able to compete on an equal footing with vehicle manufacturers (VMs) by accessing the vehicle, its data and functions independently.
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However, 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 the VM’s backend server. As such, this would prevent all other service providers ‘around the car’ from offering competing services to consumers, as only a small part of the vehicle generated data will be shared with independent service providers, compared to the data available to the VM.
The coalition has launched the manifesto urging the EU Commission to “act now” by using the “interoperable, standardised, secure and open access telematics platform” set out in the 2015 EU eCall Regulation to introduce robust legislation within its current term, in order to ensure a level playing field. This solution is to 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.
Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “The current in-vehicle access platforms – controlled and operated by the VMs – prevent independent businesses from embracing digital opportunities, jeopardising consumer choice, innovation and a growing economy.
“It’s clear what is at stake here and 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 at the heart of the EU Digital Single Market.”