Leveraging data to connect people and vehicles

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Within this section, you will gain an understanding of the opportunities presented by the rapidly shifting technology landscape

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"As more decisions are made by machine than human driver, where does the liability fall in case of an accident?"

Sherezad Rehmann, Senior Director Product Management, LexisNexis

Technology opportunities for automotive

For several years now, the automotive sector has been focused on how the increasing digitisation of vehicles will provide opportunities when it comes to prognostics, diagnostics, connectivity, and infrastructure improvements, as well as improving the driver experience. However, challenges remain.

The more technology which is being put into the vehicle, the more complex cabling and integration is involved. Add to that issues of bandwidth and the 5G network roll-out – you would not want a safety critical system to fail; as well as ensuring the technology is resilient to weather extremes and competing electromagnetic signals, and it becomes clear that, despite the progress which has been made, there are still discussions which need to be had.

As the market explores opportunities around less complex driver support systems through to full vehicle autonomy, the demand for real-time information sharing and data transfer is significant. Hundreds of sensors are now being deployed on every vehicle, generating previously unheard-of volumes of data which needs to be processed and analysed faster than human reflexes.

Help is at hand, as many of these challenges and opportunities have already been addressed in sectors such as telecoms, data centre management, consumer electronics and artificial intelligence. The opportunity is to lift those learnings and apply them specifically to the automotive sector.

"As carmakers and insurers get a better understanding of the vehicle, how it’s driven, its performance and how semi-autonomous features work in the real world, consumers will also learn how data from and about the car can work for them. This will support market adoption, drive innovation and help create more benefits in terms of safety and total cost of ownership.”

Sherezad Rehmann, Senior Director Product Management, LexisNexis

Evolving the connected car

Since 2018, all new vehicles in the European Union have been required to have an emergency call (eCall) function as standard. The platforms which underpin electric cars, shared or pool cars and autonomous vehicles also require a high degree of connected technology. Infotainment and navigation systems have also become more complex. All of which mean the automotive sector is now a high-tech space in which to operate.

However, while technology advancements have been significant, in-vehicle connectivity is not yet equivalent to that of a smartphone when it comes to convenience and user experience. Most vehicles are still making use of several software versions and platforms which require the driver or user to perform manual tasks to search for fuel or charging, somewhere to park or find a destination.

When it comes to prognostics and diagnostics, useful advances have been made in terms of shared access to data via the OBD2 port. But questions remain when it comes to servicing, maintenance, and repair of vehicles, as well as predicting and preventing breakdowns. Without open access to the data across both the manufacturer and the third-party suppliers, there is a lack of parity, convenience and opportunity for breakdown services and the aftermarket. This will be explored further in the section on ‘Who owns the data?’.

What do we mean by Big Data in automotive?

As vehicles become more software and application-driven, the volumes of data being produced are significant. Data sharing agreements are going to be important when it comes to working out who owns and can utilise that data.

Big Data, put simply, is the analysis and extraction of information from the large volumes of structured and unstructured data which are being produced every day. In the context of automotive, this means creating partnerships and collaborations between OEMs, customers, partners and more to create commercial opportunities which benefit everyone.

"Increasingly, the automotive sector is finding itself managing and processing ever-growing volumes of data. As vehicles become more connected and support services are necessarily more integrated, the relationships within the supply chain will be just as important as the wealth of information and insights being generated."

Philip Nothard, Insight and Strategy Director, Cox Automotive