Hot off the Press from TU Detroit: Emerson vs. The World – A Debate About Car Data Value

At Otonomo, we’re passionate about the endless opportunities to generate value from connected car data. Almost daily, I hear about another startup or industry leader developing an app or service based on car data. So when I was asked to moderate a discussion at this year’s TU-Automotive Detroit conference, I decided to take a deeper look at the concept of value.

I shared some ideas with my panelist, Chip Goetzinger of Nissan, and we decided to frame the question pretty simply: “Who receives the most benefit from this data – individual drivers or the society as a whole?” The audience at TU Detroit is primarily the OEM community and we wanted to hear the industry point of view. We chose to use Slido to do some real-time polling with the audience as part of our dialogue. As for Emerson? We decided to humanize this philosophical question by giving the “individual” a name…

Our session was pretty lively with fantastic participation and engagement – thanks everyone!

We asked our audience what they believed were the top three connected car use cases that would benefit Emerson and those that would benefit the world.

These three connected car use cases bubbled to the top for Emerson:

1. Accident Detection/e-call – 64%
2. Predictive Maintenance – 62%
3. Navigation & Mapping – 44%

Here are the full results:

One of the things I found surprising is that the two use cases that I, as a consumer, am really excited about came in way lower than I expected with subscription-based fueling at 12% and in-vehicle delivery at 10%. Should we be paying more attention to these use cases?

These three connected car use cases bubbled to the top for the World:

1. Smart City & Urban Planning – 81%
2. Accident Detection/e-call – 75%
3. Predictive Maintenance – 33%

Here are the full results:

I found it interesting that parking came in at a low of 23% – the world would be a much better place if everyone could find parking easily. Accident Detection/e-call got high scores for both Emerson and the World. Given that there are 1.25 million fatalities as a result car accidents a year, this should be high on both lists, though it was number one for Emerson and number two for the World. I was also surprised that predictive maintenance made the top 3 list, outweighing EV management and navigation & mapping which I thought the audience would pick.

We then asked the audience what use cases they might add to their strategy after this discussion.

Here are the top 4:

1. Predictive Maintenance – 57%
2. Smart City & Urban Planning – 52%
3. Accident Detection/e-call – 42%
4. EV Management – 34%

Here are the full results:

I was happy to see that my personal favorites, in-vehicle delivery and subscription-based fueling, both made the list! Of course, connected car data offers many benefits. Just because society may place a higher value on a use case than one individual might, that individual may still reap significant benefits from it. Chip and I put together our list of the top four use cases that we thought benefited both Emerson and the world and shared them with the attendees:

1. Accident Detection/eCall
2. Navigation and Mapping
3. EV Management
4. Parking

There were a few things that arose that Chip and I observed:

• Accident Detection/eCall made every list, the polls and ours.
• Predictive Maintenance made every list for the TU crowd, but did not make it to ours.
• Parking was on our list but did not rank high in the polls.
• UBI, although the most mature use case, did not rise to the top.

There will be many killer apps and cool new services based on car data that come to market over the next few years. How should we be prioritizing them? Do we look for just monetization or are there bigger benefits and value that can be delivered to individual consumers and society as a whole? We are here to help answer those questions as this market continues to evolve.

We’d love to engage more people in this debate! If you’d like to see our OtoGraph, which offers a visual way to assess market maturity and connected car use case value, please reach out to us!


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Lisa Joy Rosner | CMO

A passionate data privacy advocate with over 20 years of public and startup company experience marketing big data and analytics, Lisa Joy Rosner is the CMO at Otonomo.

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