Fleet Technology Congress: BVRLA white paper spotlights need for connected vehicle data standard
27 July 2016
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has used its annual Fleet Technology Congress, held at the Williams F1 conference centre early this month, to call for the automotive industry to adopt a standardised system for connected cars.
In a white paper launched at the event, the BVRLA set out a list of priorities it will use to help the fleet industry with the introduction of new vehicle and connected car technology. The top priority is to work on a standard contract that will allow fleet professionals to use the data gathered by connected cars.
Chief executive Gerry Keaney told delegates that the BVRLA had identified the priorities it must address on behalf of members.
"We'll be working with policymakers and vehicle manufacturers to establish some standardised, industry-wide contractual terms and operational procedures surrounding the area of connected car services and vehicle data," he said.
However, speakers at the conference highlighted manufacturers' unwillingness to share the information they gather because of security issues and because the data has a value to the car maker.
Currently, car manufacturers are all developing different systems using different data standards. This means that at a fleet operator or leasing company level, even if it could get the information from the car maker, it would then have to standardise the data.
Lee Colman (pictured), head of connected cars at consultancy SBD, said that it was the manufacturers' strategy to make money from connected cars through building a relationship directly with the vehicle user that presented a stumbling block for the fleet industry, which also wants that relationship.
The other sticking point raised by Colman was the area of SMR costs where the manufacturer would want to promote its franchised retail network when the fleet management firm would be more focused on reducing costs.
He also believed it was financially inefficient for third parties, such as leasing companies, to install their own devices to allow connected car services when the manufacturer had already done so. However, this is what some fleet companies are doing, with for example, Arval's Active Link telematics system being installed in every car it leases.
The solution, according to Colman, is for leasing firms to negotiate a fee as this would fulfil the manufacturer's need to monetise the data.