Big data is a big deal amongst fleets as GDPR looms



Vehicle manufacturers have an obligation to provide vehicle data at no extra cost to the end-user.

That’s according to the majority of respondents to a recent survey conducted by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).

Nearly 300 members and fleet managers took part in the group’s latest Fleet Technology Survey, with almost four in five expressing concern that vehicle manufacturers would restrict access to telematics data to further their own business goals.

Additionally, close to nine in ten believed that manufacturers should allow users to install third-party telematics devices if they meet agreed security standards.

With the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) hard implementation date of May 25th 2018 fast approaching, more than half of the respondents said their company had a clear strategy for how it would collect and use driver and vehicle data.

However, there was a noticeable lack of consistency when asked for opinions on who was responsible for controlling, securing and cleansing data.

“Connected vehicle data is rapidly becoming the new currency of the fleet sector and will drive many business models in future,” said BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney.

“This is a new, unregulated environment which explains much of the uncertainty and concern about the roles and responsibilities played by different fleet sector participants.”

Mr Keaney added the group is obliged to play a lead role in helping the fleet sector work with government and the wider automotive supply chain to ensure that all parties share data in an open, secure and fair way.

“By doing this, we can make sure that businesses and consumers continue to enjoy a competitive choice of suppliers for fleet management, aftermarket and mobility services,” he concluded.

The survey found the majority of drivers were happy to share data if it helped to diagnose or prevent faults, automatically alert a breakdown company, or help a manufacturer identify safety and warranty issues with its parts.

However, they were less comfortable with the idea of sharing data about their driving behaviour, or selling data about their location, local weather conditions or vehicle performance.

Ben Robb, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, adds: “We’re glad the BVRLA is taking a leading role in helping the fleet industry comfortably adapt to GDPR.”