Cars on the road today have more software than ever, and embedded connectivity will continue to accelerate. By 2020, there could be as many as 200 million connected cars around the world.
Technology has provided the ability to personalize content and deepen one-on-one relationships between drivers and automotive brands. Given the advancements in bandwidth, connected cars can share real-time information with automotive providers to enhance vehicle performance, safety, service and entertainment.
But there’s a hitch. As consumers move beyond early adoption of connected cars, the majority remains hesitant to openly share personal data with automakers and in-vehicle applications.
A recent consumer survey shows that consumers currently trust phone providers, insurance companies, social networks and retailers more than their automotive providers when it comes to sharing personal data, such as location, preferences and driving behavior.
How can that be when drivers have trusted vehicles with their lives for more than a century?
Transparency is the key. The survey found that trust barriers begin to fall away when automotive providers clearly explain where personal data is being used and for what purpose. If consumers think the reason is beneficial to them, they become more than willing to exchange information through connected cars.
Automakers must clearly communicate the benefits of sharing data. Consumers already know what to expect when providing their data through smart phones and computers. There’s already a culture surrounding the use of electronic notifications and opt-ins for valued services.
Without an explanation on how data would be used, approximately 35 percent of survey respondents said they would share personal data with OEMs. The result doubled to approximately 70 percent once explained the data would be used to provide better dealership service, for example.
Once the benefit is clear, respondents indicated that they are open to exchanging their data in many instances, such as improving future vehicle quality, personalizing their vehicles, and receiving discounts for insurance plans and special offers from retailers. However, drivers need to maintain control of their data, with assurances that the exchange of data will only happen when are where they choose to do so.
This data exchange from the vehicle involves two drive two types of data: vehicle diagnostic data providing visibility into how the car and its components are performing, and personal driver data showing how and where a vehicle is used. Both can help the industry with product development and service. Vehicle diagnostic data could go as far as helping OEMs detect issues earlier and possibly avoid recalls.
The opportunity has arrived for automotive OEMs and dealers to shift their conversations through dashboards, in a way that consumers have become familiarized with their other mobile devices. Instead of getting notices or coupons by paper mail or emails, consumers can obtain them through in-vehicle applications, if they choose to opt-in.
Consumers have become accustomed to the trade offs of valued services for their personal data. Those lessons already come from mobile technology leaders. OEMs can now shift away from assumptions on what drivers would find acceptable for data sharing. They just have to ask directly.
In collaboration with automotive and technology innovators, we are helping to bridge the gap, turning vehicle and driver data into new insights for brands and new experiences for their customers. The company has helped OEMs deliver a 360-degree view of the driver and the vehicle, allowing them to deliver personal vehicle experiences while providing visibility to proactive manage vehicle performance and quality.