Fleet News

Connected cars: Regulator role for connected car industry

Ben Volkow CEO and co-founder of Otonomo

The connected car industry is a hugely exciting place for any entrepreneur to be because it’s as fast and furious as the cars that generate the data. 

But, with high-speed and high-tech, come varying degrees of hesitation and fear. 

The recent advent of regulation and standardisation across our industry has been met with a bit of both, but I firmly believe that regulation of vehicle data is as inevitable as it is necessary. 

Regulation – or lack thereof – has been obstructing progress in the connected car industry. 

In fact, since the world first identified data as the new oil, regulation, despite the many challenges it brings with it, has been the teacher ‘the connected car playground’ has been waiting for. 

That said, mind-blowing progress has been made, and rapidly – 2020, with its promise of more than a quarter of a billion connected cars, is just around the corner. 

The speed of technological evolution by far surpasses anything we have ever known and the nearly uncharted territory of data ownership and utilisation leaves us struggling to keep up.

Regulatory and standardisation bodies introduce order to the industry so people’s rights are protected, trust is established and enforced, and the obstacle to progress is removed. 

Processes, protocols and transparency lie at the heart of the connected car industry and its players can both gain from, and contribute with, the rightful use of vehicle data. 

The fact that vehicle data can be used to optimise the driver experience, conserve energy, enrich smart cities and literally change our lives, has been pushing the industry forward. 

However, the introduction of guidelines that are both global and localised is, and will continue to be, a powerful catalyst in these areas. 

The ecosystem, although inclined to focus on the consequences of regulation, stands only to advance from the ongoing introduction of regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the ePrivacy regulation and local initiatives that are being put forward to data-driven enterprises. 

It’s a welcome sign of maturity in a mainstream industry that has progressed from futuristic concept to reality in less than a decade. 

By Ben Volkow CEO and co-founder of Otonomo

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