Car makers are very tight with the data they wish to share with tech partners that help them build in-car infotainment systems, a recent report shows.
Apple and Google, which had developed CarPlay and Android Auto, planned to use that data for more commercial reach, but their partners would rather keep the data for themselves.
Car makers declined to allow tech partners to learn about what drivers do in their cars along with more dry details on the vehicle’s functionality like steering ability, brakes and acceleration system. Seemingly, auto makers plan to monetize themselves the precious amounts of data at some point in the future.
Google and Apple already generate impressive revenues from monetizing the information smartphone users provide them with through various products and services including music streaming services and targeted ads. But they want more. And connected cars may just be the solution.
Nevertheless, auto makers hope that as infotainment becomes more and more popular among digitally connected vehicle users, the revenue generated may soon worth billions of dollars. So why share the treasure chest with others?
Some car makers even declined to share with Google and Apple the data on their cars’ range, or the distance a vehicle can run before completely running out of gas.
“We need to control access to that data. We need to protect our ability to create value,”
said Don Butler, Ford’s head of connected vehicle and services division.
And the money involved may be astronomical. General Motors disclosed earlier this year that the high-speed data connections embedded in their cars would generate an extra $350 million by 2018.
A research firm estimated for 2018 that the global revenues from the car infotainment systems may reach $40 billion. A couple of years ago, connected vehicles produced as much as $16 billion worldwide. So why share the cash with others?
Friedmar Rumpel, an industry analyst from the AlixPartners, explained that auto makers are not interested in giving up control over data to their partners because the latter may figure out the business model and leave the former broke.
The automotive industry hopes that infotainment systems may generate additional revenue through various services drivers may need such as auto repair information or travel planning offers.
The industry also hopes that they would monetize the data by selling it to insurance companies which can later adjust their rates on the drivers’ behavior on the public roads.
But car makers have other big plans in store. Some of them have already developed infotainment systems that can supplement CarPlay and Android Auto such as Ford’s Sync 3 system.
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