Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a SBD Automotive webinar on the opportunities and challenges around connected car data utilization. Jack Palmer, the SBD Automotive moderator, created a lively discussion between me, my co-panelists from Wejo and HERE Technologies, and a very engaged audience.
In addition to sharing our own thoughts on the state of the automotive ecosystem, we polled our audience members for their perspectives throughout the webinar and saw insights unfold in real time to shape the discussion.
What makes consumers reluctant to share their vehicle data?
Data privacy is one of the most critical issues when it comes to connected car data utilization. When asked why consumers are reluctant to share their data, the top reason cited by our audience of industry professionals is that consumers are worried about how the data will be shared (39%). The next most common reasons were that consumers don’t understand the potential benefits (27%) and that they don’t trust companies to keep their data safe (23%).
We have seen similar findings to these in our own research, including the survey of American consumers we commissioned last year from Edison Research. Fortunately, our research also indicates that consumers place relatively high trust in automotive manufacturers, with 77% of drivers in the Edison survey saying they were confident or somewhat confident that automotive OEMs would properly secure their data. On the flip side, that means that 23% percent don’t entirely trust their OEM, which is just want this poll further validated.
OEMs need to be proactive about educating consumers and explaining their data practices. We delved into a number of strategies in our Connected Car Data Privacy Playbook, published last month.
To what extent are European consumers concerned about data privacy?
Our audience believes that data privacy is top of mind for European consumers; only 17% think that Europeans aren’t concerned about it at all. Yet the most common response—given by almost half of the participants in the webinar poll—was that the biggest group of consumers in Europe is those who worry about privacy but don’t know how to manage it.
How big is this group? We don’t know, but we hope to find out soon. We’ve just commissioned a European consumer study in partnership with SBD and plan to announce our findings in early 2020.
We’re sure of one thing: That it’s a winning strategy to guide consumers clearly, in simple language and through multiple channels on how to manage their privacy choices. (Our Privacy Playbook includes insights on this topic as well!)
What does the industry think about Neutral Server?
The neutral server initiative established by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has certainly increased the opportunities for connected car data utilization. At Otonomo, we’ve been operating our Neutral Server for over a year. We’re seeing a lot of activity around personal services from both startups and established companies, and Neutral Server is an important enabler of their innovation.
Independence is one of the key tenets of the neutral server initiative, and it is also critical for increasing data availability. ACEA came up with a strong business model with its initiative, and private industry is turning it into a reality. When we asked webinar attendees what type of organization should be allowed to own a Neutral Server, 54% said an independent data aggregator. I think all three panelists exhaled and smiled at that point. J
Interestingly, 24% would prefer a non-profit consumer advocacy group, and only 8% think that the government should have a role.
Looking forward to 2020
Listening to the questions our audience asked during the webinar, I could tell that they have a pulse on some of the important issues faced by OEMs, mobility apps, service providers, and analytics solutions that have started working with connected car data in 2019. I believe that the ecosystem is primed for more growth in 2020, if it makes the right moves to earn consumer trust. If I had to sum up the most important trend for the new year, it would be transparency. Stay tuned for more of my thoughts in the coming month.
To tune in to a replay of this webinar, click here.