IGA News

Telematics and Connected Car Update

Telematics and Connected Car Update

01 June 2015

The EU eCall Regulation and telematics reminder

The EU eCall Regulation requires new types of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles to have installed the ‘eCall’ emergency call technology as a mandatory feature in all new vehicles by April 2018. Mandating eCall technology into all new cars will accelerate the deployment of connected car technologies.

The Alliance for the freedom of CAR Repair (AFCAR) coalition worked to secure the inclusion into the Regulation of a mandate to the EU Commission “to explore the requirements for an interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platform.”

This ‘open telematics platform’ (OTP) would allow independent operators to provide services based on vehicle data, under the same conditions enjoyed by vehicle manufacturers.

The final In-vehicle eCall Type-Approval Regulation text is available here.

Below are the current debates surrounding the implementation of technical solutions for the future of telematics and access to vehicles.

Current discussions on technical solutions for an ‘open telematics platform’

The current discussions will determine how independent operators would get wireless access to the vehicle. There are 2 main questions:

a) Will we continue to have direct independent access to the vehicle?

b) Could our business be monitored and profiled by the vehicle manufacturersthrough the channelling of the wireless communication through their servers?

There are several models of ‘telematics platforms’ under discussion, including interim models (which will realistically be the solutions for the next 10-15 years) and final solutions.

AFCAR is currently proposing the following:

· Open Telematics Platform as the long term and final solution (as it will take time to implement);

· As an interim solution: a ‘shared server’ model plus an improved OBD connector (‘OBD+’).

AFCAR position - Combined interim and long-term concepts

The AFCAR interim solution is made up of two elements, the ‘shared server’ and the ‘OBD+ connector’. Short descriptions for these are below.

Shared server

Description: A ‘shared server’ model is where the vehicle data is sent wirelessly to server. The server is controlled by a stakeholder consortium, including the vehicle manufacturer and independent operators, and run by a commonly acceptable and independent third party.

Rational behind it: As the server is run by an independent third party, no one party has privileged access in any form, nor can the vehicle manufacturer monitor the IAM.

OBD+ connector

Description: The OBD+ connector is a mandated port (connector) to the vehicle, or an in-vehicle standardised hardware interface. Independent operators would be able to physically connect to the plug-in telematics devices for the exchange of in-vehicle data.

Rational behind it: Independent operators would have access to real-time in-vehicle data, functionalities & engine control units, and so be able to develop custom telematics based services. Retrofitting is also possible.

AFCAR Long-term solution: Open Interoperable Telematics Platform (OTP)

Description: The Open Interoperable Telematics Platform is the final solution of the AFCAR Alliance and allied organisations. With the OTP, the vehicle hosts applications and can send data to any server directly. The OTP is a standardised system, meaning applications only have to be written once for all brands.

Rationale behind it: It ensures a level playing field for all, and allows innovative services to be created.

Vehicle manufacturers’ Extended Vehicle (ExVe) concept

Description: The ‘Extended Vehicle’ (‘ExVe’) concept is proposed by the vehicle manufacturers, and is considered to be their final solution. With ExVe, vehicle data is sent to a server controlled solely by the vehicle manufacturer. Only the vehicle manufacturer would have direct access to the vehicle data or be able to place applications on the vehicle. All other stakeholders would have to request access via the vehicle manufacturer controlled server, or even have their applications hosted directly by that server, according to individual B2B contracts. In this model, the vehicle manufacturer controls all data and access, and can monitor and profile companies using its server.

Threat for the IAM: Communication with the vehicle will be channelled through the vehicle manufacturer server, allowing monitoring and profiling of the IAM business. Development of new services would be dependent on vehicle manufacturer consent and available datasets. Moreover, it is by no means certain that independent operators will enjoy the same access to functions as authorised repairers – for example, remote reprogramming could be excluded.

If you have any questions surrounding telematics or would like to tell us your views on the current debates, please call our member helpline on 0845 305 4230.