Otonomo-SBD Automotive European Consumer Survey Reveals Solid Interest in Connected Car Services and Limited GDPR Understanding

Survey fielded in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom measures consumer interest, attitudes about car data sharing, and the perceived impact of GDPR

Geneva, Switzerland, March 3, 2020Otonomo, the leading automotive data services platform, today announced the results of a new, comprehensive consumer study on car data and privacy, fielded by SBD Automotive in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The study found that European consumers have a solid interest in new apps, services, and crowdsourced insights based on connected car data, but that the ecosystem is still very much in a building phase. It also revealed relatively low awareness among drivers about their car data collection and how GDPR protections applies to it.

The Otonomo/SBD Automotive Survey sample of 2,512 are adults who have purchased a car made in the 2016 model year or later within the last three years. Up to 77% of these consumers are interested in numerous new services based on connected car data, including being alerted of dangerous road conditions ahead, navigation based on current traffic, early detection of necessary maintenance and repairs, getting suggestions for nearby available parking, discounted insurance based on driving data, and on-demand car washing. Up to 71% of those interested in specific services are willing to share data specific to their cars in order to get them. More than half, 59%, are in favor of sharing anonymous car data.

European consumers are generally wary of sharing their data with apps and services. Fifty percent say they take active steps to manage their privacy, and 77% of respondents have not used an online app or service because of concerns about how their personal information would be used. Although the majority are aware that smartphones collect data such as location, awareness about car data collection by OEMs, which underlies all of the connected car services studied, is relatively low. Before being asked about specific connected car services, only 59% of consumers say they know that data from cars can be shared with manufacturers.

European consumers want benefits from sharing car data. Eighty percent would only consider sharing this data if there were incentives such as cheaper car insurance rates, preventing breakdowns, or free in-car services. Fifteen percent say they would never consider sharing their data.

In addition, the study found that transparency and trust are critical to consumer confidence. Sixty percent of respondents say it’s very important to be told exactly what data is being collected, how it is being used, and by whom, when deciding whether to share their data. Fifty-nine percent say the trustworthiness of the company or app is very important. Seventy-five percent of consumers want to be able to see the car data they are sharing, as per the rights to access personal data granted by GDPR.

Although 83% of consumers say they’re aware of GDPR, 41% of those who are aware are not sure how it applies to them. Furthermore, only 40% of EU consumers aware of GDPR believe it’s having an impact on data protection. About one in 20 consumers, or 6%, have seen a change in how OEMs communicate with them since GDPR went into effect 20 months ago.

Other Key Findings:

  • The connected car services that generate the most interest among European consumers include being alerted of dangerous road conditions ahead (77% interested), navigation based on current traffic (72%), early detection of necessary maintenance and repairs (70%), getting suggestions for nearby, available parking (70%), discounted insurance based on driving data (68%), and on-demand car washing (68%).
  • Fifty percent of consumers are open to sharing anonymous car data, although 80% say they would only consider sharing data if receiving an incentive.
  • Twenty-two percent of consumers say they prefer to receive communications about car data collection from their car’s manufacturer and an additional 27% say they want to receive these communications via their car’s infotainment system.
  • Sixty-two percent of consumers are confident that OEMs will properly secure their data, second only to credit card companies (71%).

“This study demonstrates that consumers are interested in sharing car data if they obtain benefits. In addition, there is a growing awareness about privacy and data protection, yet it is lower regarding data collection done by OEMs.” Said Chelsey Colbert, Policy Counsel, Future of Privacy Forum. “Transparency, security, and consumer trust are more important than ever. Consumers want to know what data is collected, how it is being used and protected, and with whom it is being shared. OEMs should consider communicating this information directly to consumers via channels such as the car’s infotainment system.”

“While European consumers are cautious about data sharing, their interest in emerging connected car services provides optimism for the ecosystem of companies developing these services,” said Jack Palmer, senior connected car specialist, SBD Automotive. “It also reveals the need to demonstrate compelling, tangible benefits to European consumers in order to gain their trust. Furthermore, because of the inherent complexities in GDPR, we were not surprised to learn that consumers are struggling to understand its impact.”

“Almost two years ago, our study of US consumers showed a demand for services based on connected car data and the need to earn consumers’ trust,” said Lisa Joy Rosner, Chief Marketing Officer, Otonomo. “This study further reinforces the need for market education, clear consumer consent processes and transparency about how automotive companies are using and securing car data.”

To download the full report click here.

Otonomo-SBD Automotive Research Survey Methodology

The Otonomo-SBD Automotive Research Survey is an online survey of 2,512 persons 18 or older. Participants were recruited through online panels. All participants have purchased a car made in the 2016 model year or later within the last three years. The survey includes populations of approximately 500 each from five European countries: France (503), Germany (502), Italy (504), Spain (501), and the United Kingdom (502).

About Otonomo

The Otonomo Automotive Data Services Platform fuels an ecosystem of OEMs, fleets and more than 100 service providers. Our neutral platform securely ingests more than 2.6 billion data points per day from over 20 million global connected vehicles, then reshapes and enriches it, to accelerate time to market for new services that delight drivers. Privacy by design is at the core of our platform, which enables GDPR, CCPA and other privacy-regulation-compliant solutions using both personal and aggregate data. Use cases include emergency services, mapping, EV management, subscription-based fueling, parking, predictive maintenance, usage-based insurance, media measurement, in-vehicle services, and dozens of smart city services. With an R&D center in Israel, and a presence in the United States, Europe, and Japan, Otonomo collaborates with twelve industries to transform their business with car data. More information is available at otonomo.io.

About SBD Automotive

SBD Automotive is a global technical research and engineering consultancy located in the centers of automotive innovation: Germany, the UK, Japan, the US, and China. For more than 20 years, our independent research, insight, and consultancy have helped vehicle manufacturers and their partners create smarter, more secure, better connected, and increasingly autonomous cars. To learn more, please visit www.sbdautomotive.com.