LAS VEGAS — It may not be surprising that most U.S. vehicle owners want full access to and control of their vehicles' telematics data, including maintenance and repair information, according to the results of a survey sponsored by the Auto Care Association (ACA).
The survey results, along with independent repair shops' determination to not lose market share, served as an impetus for the ACA's launch of the Secure Vehicle Interface (SVI) during the recent Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas.
SVI is an internationally standardized technical design that provides for secure and standardized access to the In-Vehicle Networks (IVN) for access to operational, maintenance and driver behavioral data by the automotive aftermarket and vehicle owners.
With nearly 90 percent of all new cars equipped with wireless technologies that can transmit vehicle information, the ACA said it is concerned that vehicle manufacturers are gaining exclusive access to vehicle data at the expense of consumers and independent repair shops.
Traditionally, automotive repairers have had direct access to vehicle diagnostics for maintenance and repairs. However, as vehicle technologies continue to evolve and data are transmitted wirelessly, OEMs are working to ensure they gain exclusive access and ownership of this information, the ACA claims.
"SVI is a collection of technical design standards that ensure vehicle data interfaces always enable safe, secure and standardized consumer access and control of the data their car generates," ACA President and CEO Bill Hanvey said.
"If a car owner is unable to directly access and control the data their car produces, then they can't determine where or how they have their vehicle serviced," he said. "This would mean greater inconvenience, greater cost and fewer options for taking care of their vehicle."
"SVI's internationally standardized design enables a smarter, more efficient global infrastructure where vehicles can 'talk' to infrastructure components, like roadside controllers, traffic lights, emergency vehicles and more," Joe Register, ACA vice president of emerging technologies, added.
SVI's standardized authentication and security specifications can be adapted to both new and late model vehicles.
"So you can implement the secured vehicle interface on vehicles that currently don't have it so that they can utilize the intelligence transportation system," Mr. Hanvey said.
"We're an association based on data, we're an association based on technology… ," Mr. Hanvey said. "We're investing in where we need to invest to ensure the future of the aftermarket. We're investing in data to make sure that our members can make better business decisions. And we're investing globally to make sure that people understand that we're a global industry."
He described SVI as an agnostic technology with a set of standards addressing access to vehicle data so that independent repair shops can access the vehicle's codes without having to go through the OEMs.
"So nobody owns it. We thought, as an association, that that is the way to do it. To ensure that there's a free marketplace," he said.
Repair shops would need credentials or certificates to get access to vehicle data, Mr. Hanvey said, similar to access protocols used by the SDRM (Society for the Administration of Mechanical Reproduction Rights), which handles reproduction licensing for authors, composers and publishers.
Mr. Hanvey said the association is still determining if there is a need for a separate credentialing organization.
Working with OEMs
"The car company can build their vehicle system any way they want," noted Aaron Lowe, ACA senior vice president, regulatory and government affairs.
"They just have to make sure it communicates meeting the standards, the ISO (International Organization of Standardization) standards, that have been developed so that it can communicate with other vehicles and other groups that want that information."