Car makers read the riot act to tech companies

Old carsWhile tech companies are rushing to make deals with car makers for high tech autos, a spat is developing over all that data the cars generate.

The technology companies want from the car makers –  besides stonking profits and mark-ups – is the data they collect on car users.

Apple and Google have been particularly clear that they want that data to do whatever they do with it — advertising, spamming and spying. However car makers are limiting the data they share with technology partners and are defending access to information about what drivers do in their cars.

It is not out of a desire to protect users’ privacy. The car makers are aware the vehicle data will one day generate billions of dollars in e-commerce, though they are just beginning to form strategies for monetising the information.

According to Reuters , which is always ready to defend Apple’s side of the story, some auto companies have specifically said they will not provide Apple and Google with data from the vehicle’s functional systems – steering, brakes and throttle, for instance – as well as information about range, a measure of how far the car can travel before it runs out of gas.

Don Butler, Ford Motor executive director of connected vehicle and services said the company needed to control access to that data to protect our ability to create value from new digital services built on vehicle data.

Ford is installing a proprietary system, Sync 3, in its cars that is designed to work with and supplement CarPlay and Android Auto.

General Motors has told investors earlier this year that it expects to realize an additional $350 million in revenue over three years from the high-speed data connections it is building into its cars.

Still to be answered, however, are questions concerning how comfortable consumers will be with sharing their personal information from the vehicle. In addition, state and federal regulators could impose limits on data-gathering and sharing.

In this case the carmakers have an answer – users have been giving this data to Apple and Google for years and don’t give a monkeys. At least now they are giving to people who are actually interested in their driving habits. I blame Microsoft, actually.