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Let's Talk About Vehicle Data Access

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Feb. 25, 2020—As more connected and automated driving system equipped-vehicles are deployed in the coming years, the importance of data access and control by vehicle owners and other parties will increase.

Bob Redding, Washington, D.C., representative for the Automotive Service Association (ASA) says that both the Obama and Trump administrations have issued guidelines on on many new vehicle technologies and defining state and federal responsibilities, but but so far, they have not addressed vehicle data access concerns for independent repairers.

Redding says ASA does not want to see a regulatory environment similar to collision repairers operating under a patchwork of state-based insurance laws. 

Where is data in the car?

Cars on the road today are equipped with technology that allows the vehicle to collect and store data generated by vehicle operational systems. The data is currently accessed through a physical on-board diagnostics (OBD) port. Also, more and more vehicles are now coming with technology that enables vehicle data to be accessed wirelessly, according to a statement of the U.S. Vehicle Data Access Coalition.

What are the risks of losing access to vehicle data?

  • There is the danger of reduced consumer choice if access to data generated by the car is controlled by entities other than the owner or lesee of the vehicle.
  • There is a risk of reduced competition in mobility services if vehicle manufacturers or software providers are permitted to restrict and control access to the vehicle data.

What laws should I be aware of as a shop owner?

  1. 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments: Assured repairers the same emissions service information that franchised new car dealers receive.
  2. 2015 FAST Act: Vehicle owners were guaranteed access to a car's Electronic Data Recorder. For all other vehicle generated data, owners are at the mercy of automakers.
  3. In 2017 the Senate unanimously adopted a bi-partisan autonomous vehicle data access amendment to the Senate autonomous vehicle bill. However, federal autonomous vehicle legislation was not enacted in the 115th Congress and the amendment along with the House and Senate autonomous vehicle legislation considered by Congress, died at the end of 2018.
  4. U.S. Vehicle Data Access Coalition: The coalition has adopted a position in 2020 that the time for an advisory committee on vehicle data access has passed. 

Watch a livestream of the hearing on "Autonomous Vehicles: Promises and Challenges of Evolving Automotive Technologies"


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