How to find the right connected car data provider?

February 28, 2022
Live vehicle data has enabled new business models, higher degrees of automation and has leveraged more convenience for decades. However, the recent technology shift as well as refined regulations make it hard to find the right source for live car data. In this article, we will guide you through the most important aspects that need to be considered when selecting the best provider for connected car data.

Data Access and Data Types

To select the best source for car data it is important to understand that there are two different approaches to making live information available. Using retrofit hardware such as OBD-II dongles was the only option to extract live information out of the car for many years. After purchasing, telematics devices needed to be carefully installed, regularly maintained and some of them even depended on an additional data plan.

Most cars now come with integrated connectivity that enable live car data transmission with no retrofit hardware requirements. Generated car data is stored in the cloud backend systems of the car manufacturers in different structures and formats. Online marketplaces harmonize these diverse data sources and offer a single interface and format to access cross-brand data. Accordingly, in-vehicle telematics can provide a more secure way of accessing data and a better onboarding experience to scale corresponding service offerings. In the near future, data availability and update frequency will surpass the existing possibilities that retrofit hardware solutions provide today. 

Live car data can lead to more transparency and insights. If car data is supposed to enable customized, business-related use cases it is crucial to know about the exact car, driver or customer. Some marketplaces focus on providing anonymized and aggregated data that can be used for overall and generalized observations. Only specialized data platforms include personalized car data that is based on a direct connection to a car owner or drivers of fleet-owned cars.

Transparent Legal Framework and Consent Management

Most important is the contractual situation of the connected car data provider. Best connected car data providers have direct relationships with car manufacturers. Joint efforts and underlying agreements make sure that personalized data and car-related information is shared in a secure and sustainable way. Additionally, most car manufacturers check partner companies very carefully with regards to information security management. TISAX and ISO/IEC27001 e.g. contain requirements on how to manage information as well as assess information security. Corresponding certificates can be checked at the ENX Portal on request for validation purposes. 

From a legal perspective, it needs to be ensured that the service respects local data protection regulations. In contrast to static vehicle data such as the model definition and construction year dynamic data is generally more sensitive. By continually retrieving the car’s geolocation or way of driving it is possible to learn and derive insights that describe specific driver behaviour. The best way of handling sensitive data sharing is to let drivers, car owners as well as fleet operators themselves decide which data points they like to share with whom and for which purpose.

Some companies offer written contracts that should be signed and handed-in manually before car data can be shared. To make best use of a straightforward onboarding experience consent should be captured digitally.

Technology and Tools

Every connected car use case comes with distinguished technical requirements. Some ideas work best on a mobile device while others are fitting perfectly when integrated in web applications. Even the update frequency can be different for different business models. Therefore, the connected car data source should reflect those diverse requirements by providing a diverse set of interfaces and software development kits (SDKs)

However, the best technology does not help if developers are confronted with insufficient information about the integration and lack of configuration options. Many software projects fail to meet milestones and deadlines if extensive external support is needed. Great connected car data companies provide public access to data availability, detailed documentation on how to integrate the data and they also make use of simple examples.

Testing and demonstrating connected car use cases is not simple. Especially, when it comes to testing software operations related to crash or diagnostics data there is no easy way to check and replay the communication between car and target application. Data providers that offer a sandbox environment in which common scenarios can be configured and tested can help streamline the development processes. Modern tools make use of the digital twin concept and enable risk-free simulation using a digital version of a real car that can be easily manipulated and connected to the prototype application.

Why use High Mobility?

At High Mobility, we offer the most advanced source for personalized car data yet. Every data value passes not only our secure, legally approved and certified data line but is also provided through our outstanding self-service platform that comes with advanced tools, superior customer support and testing kits that are unique in our industry.

Connected car comparison

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