Are You Ready For Telematics?

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In less than four years, an estimated 90 percent of vehicles sold will have embedded telematics.

If you’re not paying attention to telematics, you should.  Telematics are systems that allow and facilitate the two-way transmission of computerized automobile data, including diagnostic information. 

Today, only vehicle manufacturers can access all the data being generated by vehicle telematics systems.  This inhibits your customers’ choice and prevents your business from competing on a level playing field with car companies and their dealer networks.  In other words, your current or potential customer cannot choose to have their vehicle data sent to you. Critically, for fast lubes, telematics data includes oil life monitors, so when the mileage is reached for an oil change, the motorist would be invited to return to the dealership, as opposed to their favorite oil change shop.

When the car companies and their franchised dealerships have access to performance data transmitted by their vehicle makes, they use the data to determine vehicle issues and needs before the car arrives in the service bay.  This improves dealer service efficiency and generates maintenance and repair business for them — not quick lubes.

The Auto Care Association feels strongly that car companies’ control over vehicle telematics poses serious problems for consumers and the independent repair businesses because of the following reasons:

·  A connected vehicle is a threat to independent service and repair businesses if they are locked out of access to customer vehicle information.

·  Cybersecurity concerns could limit access to information for aftermarket applications.

·  Car owners, without ownership of or control over their vehicle information, are denied choice in where they get their vehicles serviced.

·  Prevents you from building a relationship with your customer.

ACA has been down this road before.  The precursor to telematics was the Motor Vehicle Owner’s Right to Repair Act.  It took a 10-year battle with OEMs to finally secure the legislation and a memorandum of understanding that required the car companies to provide the same information, tools and software for model year 2002 and later vehicles that they provide their dealers.

However, the legislation and the deal exempts information transmitted through telematics.

You will hear a lot more from the ACA about the fight for the right for the vehicle owner and independent service and repair businesses to have the same access to a vehicle’s data as the car companies.  Our mission is to protect the right of the consumer to own and direct their vehicle diagnostic data to whomever they choose and to ensure equal access to that data by the independent aftermarket in a secure and unified standard format.

ACA will lead an educational campaign to increase public awareness and understanding of vehicle-embedded telematics systems.  Greater awareness and understanding generates consumer demand for retaining possession of the vehicle-transmitted information and for choosing which service and repair shops can receive that information.

Studies have shown nearly 90 percent of drivers believe they should be able to decide which repair shops get their information.

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