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Who gets your auto-related data?

Roger Lanctot put it best. Who is Roger Lanctot? An appropriate first question and well get to that immediately. Mr. Lanctot is aleading analyst with Strategy Analytics, a firm that focuses heavily on automobile infotainment systems. Mr. Lanctot received much attention when he summed up the value of data and apps as they pertain to the auto world. The lifetime value of a customer,Lanctot states, with respect to the automaker who sold the customer the car, “is typically around half a million dollars. The value Lanctot is referring to comes from the sale of new vehicles and services, and if the manufacturer cedes any of their customer data to a third-party a hefty portion of that $500,000 is placed at risk.

There are two principal app players that run on infotainment systems (and you know these intimately) Apples CarPlay andGoogles Android Auto. Automakers have not been shy in their outward desire to not accept either, but this has proven impossible.Manufacturers would like to retain as much information surroundingtheir clients as possible. Perhaps the boldest move was a joint venture between Toyota and Ford called the SmartDeviceLink Consortium. Doesnt really roll off the tongue nicely, but the goal of the SmartDeviceLink Consortium is to promote the use of technology (SmartDeviceLink) which is a sort of app store thatautomakers can run on any car.

The value of this is automakers can choose which apps get to run on their cars. CarPlay and Android Auto would likely be allowed, but the automaker can control how much data is released. With CarPlay and Android Auto operating alone however, they control the dataand a chunk of that $500,000.

Porsche just came out a couple weeks back indicating they would finally allow Android Auto compatibility. The German luxury manufacturer had avoided it, but they could no longer resist. Toyota and Lexus have been warming up to CarPlay and it appears moreand more manufacturers are finding it tough to simply say no to either.

Every trip a driver takes with CarPlay or Android Auto is data. This data is stored and over time extremely valuable. Once amanufacturer loses a portion of that the cumulative results over time can be damaging (that $500,000 figure again). Additionally, manufacturers want to create brand loyalty, a distinct experience in a Ford, Honda, Infiniti or Porsche. That is better achieved with their own, unique system and not Apple or Google.

This is a heated war and one that will only get hotter. Your data is powerful stuff, believe or not.

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