LAS VEGAS — The Auto Care Association (ACA) is taking a three-pronged approach to the growing automotive industry adoption of vehicle telematics.
The ACA announced during the recent Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas that its newly formed Emerging Technology Committee would be meeting for the first time to discuss the trend.
The ACA said it will focus on three areas:
- Advocacy: Supporting an amendment that was included in the Senate Commerce Committee-passed autonomous vehicle bill that would require the Department of Transportation to establish a federal advisory group to review policy issues related to providing vehicle owners direct access and control of data transmitted by their vehicles.
- Consumer education: Launching a grassroots effort in key legislative districts to educate consumers on the data issue and generating communications between consumers and key legislators in support of the Senate bill amendment.
- Technology: Investigate the Secure Vehicle Interface concept that could help ensure consumer control of their data while still providing cyber protections for vehicles.
The ACA said it is working with other associations globally, including its European counterpart FIGIEFA and the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), to create a common understanding of a telematics technical solution.
Addressing the issue of emerging vehicle technologies is one of five strategic pillars the ACA introduced last year.
The others are:
- identifying global growth opportunities for its members;
- improving the global supply chain efficiency through data acquisition and standards adoption;
- reviewing and revising the structure of ACA programs and initiatives to support membership growth and retention; and
- growing the industry's political influence and financial profile.
The ACA said it addressed some of these goals during the past year by establishing the Emerging Technology Committee, advocating industry issues with federal lawmakers, hosting trade missions and partnering with global auto care associations. The association also hired 18 additional employees to work on the five pillars.
ACA President and CEO Bill Hanvey said the association hopes to continue focusing on topics of concern to members, including:
- Addressing a General Motors Co. parts disclosure controversy and embedded software issues;
- Working on Phase 2 of the development of heavy-duty product standards;
- Launching Be Car Care Aware education campaigns on specific product categories, starting with spark plugs, to help members tap into the more than $60 billion in unperformed maintenance work;
- Aggregating and disseminating data for member businesses through the association's Vehicle Information Portal;
- Developing a “demand index” to help the industry view the performance of entire parts categories on a monthly basis; and
- Encouraging members to get involved in grassroots campaigns.
The ACA represents 1,463 members in North America and 1,024 international members that are parts manufacturers, distributors, parts stores, service and repair shops, importers and business services.