Tilburg, Augustus 11th 2017

While the internet of things is becoming more present in our day to day lives, it is also becoming significantly more present within the automotive industry. The automotive industry is currently facing a shift from traditional practice, to an industry of big data, connected car features and fully autonomous vehicles. The era of big data creates endless possibilities for third parties within the automotive industry to improve their services and customer relationships. This transformation however will require trusted third parties that secure and process (vehicle) data in a rigorous and ethical manner.

The question is, how important is (vehicle) data to car users? To obtain insights regarding car users and their attitudes towards vehicle connectivity, the FIA commissioned a public survey in 12 European countries. In total 12.000 questionnaires were collected with a sample size of 1.000 respondents per country (including countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, England and France).

This research shed light on some interesting aspects of the attitude of car users towards data sharing. According to the research, car users are more comfortable to share vehicle and consumer data than you may expect. A large majority of car users in Europe are very comfortable when it comes to sharing all kinds of vehicle data such as: diagnostic vehicle data, mileage, fluid levels, sharing driving profile, dashboard functions and location. This level of comfortability is explained through the fact that sharing vehicle data often has clear benefits, for example in the event of engine failure roadside assistance can be automatically requested.

Overall, car users are very comfortable with sharing both vehicle and consumer data, however, the figure below shows that car users are slightly less comfortable to share data when the direct benefits become unclear. While vehicle data has clear benefits, such as road assistance and (predictive) maintenance, this is not always the case for consumer related data. For example, car users might not directly see the benefits of sharing the personal usage of connected features, texts, e-mails, and therefore are less comfortable to share such data. Although when these features are completely embedded, they impose great utility benefits regarding connectivity, personalized offerings and overall driving experience. The consumer might be unaware of these benefits and therefore hesitant to share this type of data. This displays the necessity for third parties within the automotive industry to clearly communicate and link benefits to sharing a certain type of data.

Now that we have created a general understanding of car users and their attitude towards data, does this attitude change based on a given scenario? The answer is yes. Car users are most comfortable to share data when it comes to roadside assistance, car maintenance and insurance benefit schemes. The figure below is another clear example of how clearly expressing those benefits can help improve the comfortability of sharing data. In each of the types of data described below, a reward is given one way or another. However, no clear benefit regarding the synchronization of phone contacts, emails and call history is given. This explains why car users might be more hesitant when sharing these types of data to third parties.


In conclusion, the internet of things will continue to increase its presence within the automotive industry, forcing the industry to shift towards the utilization of big data. Not only will the internet of things slowly take over the industry, car users will also become increasingly more aware and more demanding regarding the connected car and its features. It is important for the stakeholders within the automotive industry to clearly link data sharing of car users to rewarding benefits. Neglecting  big data and its features will no longer be an alternative in the automotive industry of tomorrow.

Author: Jeroen Nissen