Neutral Servers: The Future of Data Sharing
The increasing ability of cars to exchange data with the outside world has great potential to revolutionize the driving experience but to benefit from this, companies and government should work collaboratively towards strengthen the connectivity infrastructure, secure vehicle data and facilitate safe and secure third-party data access.
Today everyday objects from smart TV to refrigerator are connected through a network that allows the data transmission. The connected car employs data from various sources such as from driver, surrounding and vehicle. The connected car operation relies mainly on the collection of data set from different sources and then processing it to extract meaningful information. Most of the vehicle data is technical in nature, they exist momentarily and are never stored. The stored data can be used to advise the driver on easiest and safest routes, to automatically pay for parking or tolls with the help of vehicle identification number, contact emergency service in case of an accident, predict when the vehicle will need maintenance or repair, and to provide local information regarding entertainment, help electric vehicle identify the charging points and other services.
To enable all the above services in an effective manner, the cars will need a seamless communication network to transmit the data and a unique vehicle identification number. The network that provides full coverage with low latency and enough bandwidth to process data for millions of cars will be the winner. The advantage of mobile communication is that the infrastructure already exists. However, investments have mainly occurred in urban areas where people live, there is a need for strong investments in digital highways to get connectivity where people drive. Countries need to strengthen their communication network to improve coverage and reliability and achieve extended vehicles. Now the people are more concerned about their data sharing, data protection, and privacy and with the incremental development of the internet of things and hacking incidences. And at the same time, more and more people are willing to share data with service providers if it provides benefit to users from services.
Automakers take data protection very seriously. To maintain customer trust, building long-term customer with recurring investment in solution and increasing brand value, automakers are committed to providing high-level data protection with extended vehicles. Now automakers are more inclined towards offering services in term of data exchange. Thus, more data need to be shared with third parties, this further increase the data sharing risk. Thus the data will be shared only based on the customer consent and if the third parties are ready to sign the contract which will lead the third parties to operate with legal compliance. This will further increase the level of data protection. So now once it is sure that the third parties will be using the data responsibly, the next big question to solve is the way to provide access to this data. In some cases, third parties offer direct access to the data, so that they can provide customized services as per vehicle but this methodology can increase the chances of getting an extended vehicle hacked. This will further increase the data exchange interfaces that increase the availability of various potential targets for hackers. In addition, it will provide many entry points to enter the system. Furthermore, it will increase the distraction level for a driver because granting uncontrolled access to the onboard system means the third parties can send every kind of nonsense on the onboard system. Thus, individual direct access is not efficient for sharing data with third parties.
Extended vehicles require security, safety, and privacy with the highest standard. To limit the risk with balanced alternatives can help to move from direct in-vehicle data access to off-board access i.e. an external server. This will allow the vehicle manufacturers to communicate relevant vehicle data in a secure manner with access to third parties in a much safe and secure pattern. Off-board data access will provide an open yet protected third-party interface for provision of services contributing to innovative, competitive and fair platform for customers. Furthermore, while managing external servers, automakers require to install neutral servers, which were neither operated nor financed by manufacturers. This could facilitate data access in particular for SMEs by offering them with multi-brand data access on one server rather than obliging them to use multiple servers. Off-board data access will provide an open yet protected interface for the provision of service by third parties contributing to customer data safe and will allow other stakeholders to compete in the fair and open market.
The increasing ability of cars to exchange data with the outside world will have great potential to revolutionize the driving experience but to benefit from this, companies and government should collaboratively strengthen connectivity infrastructure, protect vehicle data and facilitate safe and secure third-party access to data.
All the OEMs in Europe required to provide data points from their connected vehicle to neutral servers. These servers will normalize the data points for suppliers to understand it in an efficient way. The neutral server is supported by the European government. Selected data will be further shared with third parties using a neutral server from a single point. The market is expected to witness consolidation that is, if the neutral server is successfully tested and provide high-level security, the same concept will be implemented across the globe.
There are multiple initiatives started by automotive manufacturers across the globe, the neutral server is supported initiative is the one supported by the European government. The market is expected to witness consolidation i.e. if the neutral server is successfully tested and provide high-level security, the same concept will be implemented across the globe.