Companies debate getting the most out of connected car data

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Automotive e-commerce solutions company epyx has opened talks with telematics providers to review strategies for getting the most out of connected car service and maintenance data.

Epyx says that businesses collecting this information often have no means of processing it effectively – but it already has a comprehensive infrastructure in place.

Tim Meadows, epyx commercial director, said: “We are on the cusp of a minor revolution in connected car technology and the leading edge is starting to become visible in day-to-day fleet operations.

“However, what we are finding in our conversations with telematics providers – and other parties such as manufacturers and leasing companies – is that there is no technological framework in place to get maximum fleet value from the information being gathered.”

He said that epyx has a central role to play, as its 1link Service Network platform already derives intelligence from real-time vehicle data, ranging from mileage readings to fluid levels and various dashboard statuses.

He added: “Faster diagnostics will be possible as fault codes can be sent to the garage via our 1link platform even before the vehicle arrives. All of this means faster, more focused SMR and reduced downtime.”

Epyx software infrastructure currently handles SMR for three million vehicles and 18,000 garages.

The platform could handle key connected car processing points, including assessing SMR information being provided by the vehicle, communicating with the driver, finding a suitable garage, booking the work and then handling authorisation, invoicing and auditing.

Meadows said: “Simply, we have the technical capability and the vision to deliver the benefits of connected car technology to fleets.”

Epyx is owned by FLEETCOR Technologies, a global provider of commercial payment solutions which serves businesses, partners and merchants in North America, Latin America, Europe and Australasia.

A recent debate over who owns data produced by connected cars has highlighted its potential value to vehicle finance companies, manufacturers and operators.

Connected cars, which are fitted with sophisticated telematics that wirelessly links vehicles to the internet, are able to transmit a vast amount of data about vehicle performance and use, in addition to receiving over-the-air updates in some cases.

The manufacturers of connected cars have been arguing against giving third-parties direct access to vehicle systems. Instead many suggest providing access to a limited range of information through shared servers, potentially for a fee.

In response, Leaseurope, the trade body representing the leasing and automotive rental industries in Europe, has welcomed an EU report which calls for greater levels of access to connected car data.

The GEAR 2030 report was released following two years of stakeholder consultation and recognises the importance of direct, safe and secure access to a wide set of in-vehicle data in real-time for the provision of connected services.

* Connected vehicle data ‘is the new fleet currency’