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The battle over access to telematics: Didn’t we fight this war before?

Monday, December 18, 2017 - 09:00
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It was with this in mind, that the Auto Care Association and other industry groups have been working to develop the Secure Vehicle Interface (SVI). Not too simplify the solution too much, the SVI would build a “wall” around the critical vehicle systems, providing a gateway where standardized data can flow to independents or anyone else who the motorists deems worthy of their data.

Even more exciting about the SVI is that it could be developed as a retrofit for vehicles that are already on the road, thus addressing the cyber vulnerabilities in the current fleet now on the road. This is an important opportunity for the industry, but one that will require a great deal of work in order to become a reality.

High on the list of “to dos” is obtaining support from the vehicle manufacturers to develop an industry standard for SVI such that it could be uniformly adopted by all of the car companies. This is being done through the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE).

SAE is the source of a great many standards used by vehicle manufacturers and is currently developing measures that manufacturers could employ to address cyber vulnerabilities for the OBD II port. Yet, SAE, and the car companies that would need to participate in the development of the standard, appear uninterested in SVI. Yet SVI would not only provide cyber protections for data wirelessly transmitted for telematics systems, but the entire vehicle system including the OBD II port.   

Whether it’s through SVI or another solution, manufacturers must address the need for car owners to control the data transmitted by their vehicles; and for technicians to obtain and use the data in order to provide affordable repairs for their customers. As the right to repair battle demonstrated, car owners want choice on where they have their car repaired. They also want choices on what services are available for them to use.

Working together with vehicle manufacturers we can develop solutions like SVI that will address data access control issues in a secure fashion. Unfortunately, the manufacturers appear to be leaning toward creating the monopoly they did not achieve through OBD II. This would not be good for consumers or the aftermarket and likely in the long run for the manufacturers either. Hopefully, this situation can be avoided without another legislative battle, but time is running out.

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