New data collection capabilities can improve your experience with car maintenance, but it will also share details about your driving with manufacturers and insurance companies.
We have all been there -- on our way out of the house for the morning race against traffic, and a warning light appears in our car, or worse it won't start. We always ask ourselves how this did happen with no warning? Now, connected car analytics could remove this problem from our day-to-day lives.
Cars have been getting more connected and smarter over the past few years, but technology is now allowing cars to communicate with third-party entities. BMW just introduced a feature that takes drivers beyond internet connection to data integrations and sharing. The car can anticipate a service issue and order parts before you arrive, based on information it gathers from your vehicle. This connected technology requires a SIM card installed in the vehicle to share data with pre-determined third-party providers in an encrypted format, to prevent hacking.
The data integration can share actual mileage and driving behavior with insurance companies that are interested in exact car drive times and mileage to build more accurate risk profiles and price vehicle insurance accordingly. Some insurance companies such as Allstate are introducing their own connected app. Drivewise from Allstate monitors driver behavior, from miles driven to brake application and speeds, to determine more accurate rates. Drivers are also rewarded for good driving behavior over time.
Many connected cars are already offering driver safety options for their connected cars including vehicle location in the event of a severe accident and live person communication if passenger airbags are deployed. Dispatch of EMS in the event of accident detection is also a feature. Connected cars also offer traditional benefits such as entertainment, contact integration for cell phones, and the ability to deliver coupons to customers based on their location. The technology can even help drivers find a parking space at a garage or lot in the area.
Currently, there are no regulations restricting car data sharing or requirements from the government. In the future, this may be an area for legislation to protect data security and provide drivers with safety features. More than 36 million cars were connected on some level in 2015, and the number is expected to grow as more car manufacturers from every category see the opportunities for connected data. While many welcome these enhancements to cars, others are concerned about driver distraction, the privacy of information, and the big brother factor. Many cars are currently being marketed with accompanying apps that can be used to operate car features and communicate with a car remotely.
Third parties are naturally anxious to receive the data from cars to monetize the data. The waiting and inconvenience of being without a car can be mitigated by the data sharing. Dealerships, garages and parts manufacturers are also interested in the data to create seamless ordering and appointment setting. Connected car technology also creates a record of everything about the car from service to repairs, adding another dimension to buying used vehicles. The data generated from connected cars will be another source of analytics and modeling as more car manufacturers move toward connecting their cars.
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