BMW CarData: A connected, telematics service that will use your driving data for good
Modern cars are full of sensors, and that means they produce huge amounts of data – from your average speed to your daily fuel usage. Usually that data is stored or ignored, but now BMW wants to make your data work for you.
Yesterday BMW announced CarData, a new service that puts customers in total control of their driving data, and I think it’s a brilliant idea. As you’d expect, it’s an opt in service, but it basically gives you the ability to share your data for possible benefits, or keep it secure if you’d prefer.
The benefits are obvious. Just like telematics services from companies such as Octo, CarData will give you the option to share your driving habits with insurance companies – giving you more tailored, and hopefully cheaper premiums.
BMW says it could even speed up other processes like scheduled car services, as dealerships will know which parts to order before they even open the bonnet.
In the future, BMW believes CarData could be used to customise infotainment apps – but that’s somewhat further down the line.
As cars get more advanced, and the connected car gets ever closer, people are understandably getting more worried about data protection and privacy – and that’s also what CarData is for.
“For customers, CarData means security, transparency and control over data from your own car, combined with the many benefits of customized services,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation BMW Group.
“Protecting vehicle data is part of our understanding of premium in the highly-connected vehicle. This is what customers expect from us. In this way, we are allowing customers to decide what happens with their data. This is precisely the philosophy behind BMW CarData.”
Interestingly, if you choose to share your data with third-parties, they won’t get direct access to your car. Instead, they’ll get encrypted data from a secure BMW server that sits in the middle of both parties, keeping things anonymous and hopefully more secure.
While insurance companies offer similar ‘black boxes’ like this already, this is one of the first times we’ve seen an OEM offer data sharing as a service. In a way, it preempts future concerns about data privacy, and unlocks a whole new sector for third-party car services – which should benefit the consumer.
BMW says the service will roll out in Germany on 30th May this year before coming to other markets soon, and all BMWs with a Sim-card and cellular capability will be compatible.