The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on Europe’s data economy, published in the framework of the EU’s Digital Single Market Strategy.
Although this Communication is not sector-specific, it focuses on connected and automated driving as a case study on the implications of access to data.
“It is important to remember that a vehicle is not a smartphone on wheels,” states ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “It is a means of transport, the primary function of which is to bring people and goods from one place to another. It requires much higher standards in safety, security and privacy compared with smartphones or other consumer devices. It is the vehicle manufacturer’s responsibility that the vehicle operates in a safe and secure manner. We therefore particularly welcome the Communication’s references to the need for clear rules on access to data, as well as security, privacy and liability concerns.”
Indeed, automobile manufacturers and suppliers are already taking the lead by developing a solution to provide safe and secure access to vehicle data. This would involve vehicle manufacturers communicating the relevant data in a secure manner between the vehicle and an off-board facility, from where market participants can access it. This would provide an open but secure interface for the provision of third-party services. In addition to an external server managed by the vehicle manufacturer, one or more neutral servers should be installed to offer service providers an alternative access method, ensuring their identity is not disclosed to the vehicle manufacturer and that customer data privacy rights are observed.
ACEA looks forward to sharing further specifics and experiences of the automobile sector in this regard, and to contributing constructively to the consultation process. It is pleased to note that the Commission will not regulate data access for specific sectors, before having drawn conclusions from this fundamental debate.