Going Live with the First Neutral Server: Securely Opening the Doors to Automotive Data

Just about two years ago, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) announced its neutral server initiative.  This is an effort to find a solution that makes automotive data available to interested third-party service providers in a safe and secure manner, without requiring those third parties to sign a contract with a vehicle manufacturer. This initiative received critical support from the EU as well as the automotive OEMs and other key players in the automotive industry, such as insurance companies, energy providers, workshops.

Neutral Server offers:

  • Consumers choice: By breaking down barriers to data accessibility, Neutral Servers will make more services available to drivers and passengers
  • More competition: Competing service providers will have access to a defined automotive dataset from which they can innovate and differentiate
  • A fair play: Everyone can access and use the data on the same terms and conditions which will speed the usage and adoption of data services for drivers

The Neutral Server concept represents a big step for the automotive data ecosystem, and Otonomo is excited to be supporting this effort by providing a Neutral Server environment as part of our automotive data services platform.  In fact, we are three weeks away from going live with the first Neutral Server implementation.

Today, insurance providers are looking to Neutral Server to simplify access to mileage for usage-based insurance. A number of smart charging services are emerging to serve the growing population of electric vehicles (EVs). Gas and energy companies are looking to create seamless, personalized fueling services. Those services are just the start.

Here are the key Neutral Server requirements that our solution addresses.

Drivers’ Safety Demands Secure, Off-Board Data Access

Automotive data can provide value to a huge number of mobility use cases, but driver safety must come first. Vehicle manufacturers cannot broadly provide direct access to vehicle functions because that access could put drivers at risk from hacker attacks of the malfunction of critical vehicle capabilities by overloading the vehicle’s computing capacity.

Drivers and Regulators Expect Clear Consent Management

Privacy and data protection are central tenets of Neutral Server. A Neutral Server must ensure that personal automotive data is only shared with third-party service providers with driver consent—that is, consent is on a per-service basis. As such, a Neutral Server keeps vehicle manufacturers and service providers in full compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR.

Standardized Interoperability Provides Faster, Easier Access to Valuable data

By supporting standard, web-services based access, service providers develop a single interface to automotive data that works with all vehicle makes and models. And, they can bring innovative services to life much faster because they don’t have to enter into separate contract negotiations with each OEM.

Neutral Server Meets OEM Needs for Liability and Intellectual Property Protection

In the Neutral Server model, the vehicle manufacturer is also able to manage its obligations under product liability laws to maintain secure end-to-end communication with the off-board cloud. Manufacturers can also protect intellectual property by controlling the datasets that are accessible to service providers.

Learn More About Otonomo Neutral Server

We invite OEMs to learn more about how to implement Neutral Server, and we’re ready to explore the access to automotive data in Europe with service providers.

Learn More

You can also read the ACEA’s position paper for more background and technical details.

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