The CarData service requires a built-in SIM card, which is on board, for example, on all models with BMW’s online service “Connected Drive”. Currently a total of around 8.5 million cars meet this requirement. There are no additional costs for the service. According to BMW, among the first service providers are telematics service provider TomTom Telematics, the mobility service provider Smartcar and IT company IBM.
The data are transferred across an encrypted connection to a back-end server. From there, service providers can obtain the data they need for their specific services, provided the user has agreed to release these specific data. Since all communication processes are encrypted from end to end, cyber-attacks can be ruled out, promised BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer at the presentation of the new services.
To utilize the CarData service, car owners must register online to BMW. Users will be able to grant or reject access to the data they choose. This means that the customer alone decides which company is getting their data, the company points out. In addition, users can always request a report on the transferred data.
Up to now, car data from car manufacturers and other companies have been collected; actively making use of such data is still in its infancy. Relevant are informations about vehicle status, driving style and possible routes especially for insurers who intent to offer driving-based tariffs or who want to have a stronger control over claims handling in the case of an accident. Even workshops that want to bind their customers with individualized offers are among the target group of car manufacturers. In its communication, BMW also suggests other possible services, from infotainment to smart home functions.
With the announcement at hand, BMW claims to be the first carmaker to offer such data-driven services.