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Vehicle data collection and storing is increasing, but who actually owns it?

Telematics is defined as the “sending, receiving and storing of information relating to vehicles via telecommunication devices.” The aftermarket should be interested in the data from these vehicles—it tells of performance and wear and tear… a perfect scenario for service providers and their customers!

What is telematics?

As AIA tells us, imagine the telematics system in the vehicle as a “black box” that uses the Internet to establish a “remote bi-directional” portal into a vehicle and its data. Then the vehicle can send and receive real-time information on its repair data and software updates collected from the vehicle’s sensors. Perfect… the car can tell the ASP what needs fixing from the data collected rather than having to reply to the vehicle’s owner that something could be wrong, and having to bring the vehicle in not knowing what the problem really is. What an advantage for the ASP to have that data come right into the shop in real time!

Sounds easy if the customer’s vehicle is so equipped and the ASP has the knowledge and equipment for this to happen. It can bring in so much more business and is something an industrious service provider can add to their services. The dealerships are currently all over this “easy communication for service” factor!

Whose data is this?

There’s another item that must be taken into serious consideration: who does this data really belong to?

In a recent AIA Canada report it was stated that, “In a scenario where car manufacturers own the vehicle data, there is the potential for automakers to establish a data monopoly, which will threaten car owners’ choice for service and repair and hinder competition in the Canadian automotive industry.”

The report adds that, “The same car manufacturers will be in a position to influence car owner behaviour, and will have control over where car owners could take their vehicles to be serviced along with what replacement parts and supplies will be available on the market. Critically, they will have influence over the cost that people will pay for services, parts and supplies.”

The report notes that this will create a competitive advantage over the aftermarket with control over the access to data, including wait time and vehicle data quality.

Additionally, the report says that, “Because the service and repair shops are one of the biggest consumers of aftermarket products, the entire aftermarket supply chain will be vulnerable to disruption and the collateral damage to the Canadian economy could be significant, resulting in a loss of 453,000 aftermarket jobs by 2051.”

So, it’s up to you. Get on the ball and talk to your customers who have the telematics device and inform them of their rights as to the data in the device and who they want to repair their vehicles!


AIA Canada is fighting to ensure that the aftermarket industry has direct access to vehicle data. This includes:

  • Regular meetings with federal and provincial government reps to discuss access to vehicle data and consequences of failing to address this issue.
  • Commissioned a research study to better understand car owners’ in-vehicle data.
  • A seat on the Car of the Future Advisory Group working to address challenges and opportunities related to connected and automated vehicle technology.
  • Invited by the Competition Bureau Canada to submit comments of Canada’s repair and maintenance industry competition, leading to a face-to-face meeting.

This information is on the AIA site: [email protected]

Categories : Mechanical

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