Joe Register, director of emerging technologies with the Auto Care Association, discusses the challenges of telematics and connected vehicle data collection at an AAPEX Tech Talk.

Potential battle lines are being drawn for telematic control

Future of aftermarket service and repair hinges on diagnostic data sharing

Las Vegas—Who owns the data? Or, perhaps, more appropriately, who will own the data?

Emerging telematics involves extensive data collection that could inform infrastructure, manufacturing, safety, insurance and driver behavior. It also raises important issues regarding sharing of that data when it comes to servicing vehicles, said Joe Register, director of Emerging Technologies for the Auto Care Association, during an AAPEX presentation.

“This makes it imperative that the industry get ahead of OE interests,” he said.

A secure vehicle interface must work to protect drivers and the aftermarket from complete OEM telematics control as automated and connected vehicles enter the market, Register said. “The potential to be able to lock up all diagnostic data as an OE exists in this design.”

Right to Repair legislation requires manufacturers to make the same data available to independent repair shops as their dealers, so some lines have been drawn, but Register says they are not enough.

“All OEM dealers would have to do with this is to perform any advanced diagnostics within their own infrastructure and then force their franchisees to actually subscribe to that data,” he said. “If they do that, then all they have to do is provide the same ability to the automotive aftermarket, for a price.”

OEMs have not come out explicitly stating this as their intention, but previous industry behavior indicates a need to prevent this sort of data hoarding, especially as some data could be left out if it were not explicitly mandated by legislation, he said. Too much could be lost by routing information through the vehicle manufacturers’ infrastructure, then back out again to some other intelligent transportation systems (ITS) station.

“There is an alternative,” Register said. “ISO and SAE have both committed to connected vehicles, and the connected-vehicle interface that we are familiar with is a Secure Vehicle Interface, SVI. The beauty of SVI is we have a consistent way to be able to get information, not only for ITS purposes, but for advanced diagnostics.”

That would allow information gathering by OE manufacturers but also access by aftermarket stakeholders.

“We could still get information directly through the OBDII port or wirelessly,” he said. “So all of this is taken directly out of the OE manufacturer’s hands, and it’s now put into a system and a more recognized way of managing it.”

Appointed to his position just this year, Register celebrated the Auto Care Association’s success in pushing forward the Right to Repair Act and said he looks forward to championing the future of vehicle telematics solutions and standards.

“Quite frankly, I don’t think there’s a single subject that has the potential to actually impact our personal lives as well as the businesses we represent as some of the emerging technologies in vehicles today,” Register said. “The question is, how can we benefit from having the advanced diagnostics that we’re interested in and also meet the ITS requirements?”

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.