Time for ambitious legislation on vehicle data access

Leaseurope is part of a large coalition calling for a legislative proposal on vehicle data access by Q1 2022.

The coalition, which includes publishers of technical information, body repairers, dealers and workshops, garage equipment suppliers, tyre manufacturers, road patrols, parts distributors, leasing and rental companies, as well as consumers, is urging the European Commission to consider ambitious legislative proposals Ahead of their workshop on “Access to In-Vehicle Data” on 17 September 2021.

The ongoing lack of access to in-vehicle data and functions increasingly jeopardizes competition in digital products and services and the ability to provide customers, both consumers and fleet owners/operators, with the digital services they expect. The recent TRL Study Report commissioned by the European Commission depicts these problems, which are rooted in vehicle manufacturers’ closed telematics systems. Another study, commissioned by the consumers organisation FIA Region I, showed that if this model would continue to establish itself, it could lead to consumers and independent service providers having to absorb additional costs of around €65 billion per year by 2030.

After lengthy investigations and several postponements since 2018, the draft legislation should be put in the legislative loop no later than the first quarter of 2022 to have a chance to go through the complete ordinary legislative procedure. Any delay could risk the competitiveness and the survival of the 500.000 companies and 4,5 million jobs represented by the coalition. The specificities, the complexity and the importance of the automotive market require a sector-specific legislation and cannot be addressed in the broader horizontal initiatives in the framework of the European Data Strategy.

There is a simple solution: mandating a Secure On-Board Telematics Platform (S-OTP). The S-OTP is a set of requirements based on equipment which is already in the vehicle and on existing standards, involving no additional device. It puts the consumers in control, enabling them to freely choose which service providers have access to which technical data and for which purpose. Only services which are independently assessed, tested, and approved could be chosen by the consumers. It is fully in line with the European Union’s objectives in terms of data privacy, cybersecurity, digitalisation, and enhancement of road mobility.