Data Act is important but has to be complemented soon by sector-specific legislation on access to in-vehicle data, functions and resources

  • A delay of a sector-specific legislation risks further reducing competitiveness and limits consumer choice 

The horizontal Data Act is a relevant regulation to ensure a more level playing field between the different actors in the data economy and, therefore, CLEPA strongly supports its overall goal and approach. However, this proposal is not concrete enough to tackle the particular obstacles concerning the deployment of data-based services in the automotive sector. For that reason, the Data Act needs to be complemented by a sector-specific legislation as soon as possible. 

Automotive technology is rapidly advancing, with vehicles generating and collecting ever greater quantities of data to operate and monitor systems. This data offers a huge potential to improve and develop new services for the benefit of consumers. However, automotive suppliers and other third-party service providers currently rely on the willingness and conditions of vehicle manufacturers to provide access to this data. Such a level of control on the market carries the risk of creating “gatekeepers”, with a detrimental effect on fair competition, innovation and consumer choice.  

CLEPA sees the horizontal Data Act as an important first step in improving the situation by ensuring that third parties can provide innovative services to the end user. Moreover, the association welcomes that the proposal puts the consumer in the centre and imposes obligations on data holders. 

Yet, we think that the Data Act does not fully reflect the complexities of the deployment of data-based services in the automotive sector. Therefore, we strongly advocate for a swift publication of the proposal for  the complementary sector-specific regulation which is currently being drafted by the European Commission. 

“A prompt publication of the sector-specific proposal on access to in-vehicle data, functions and resources by the Commission will contribute to improving competition, boosting innovation capabilities of thousands of automotive supply companies, and protecting consumer rights and choice”, says CLEPA’s Secretary General Benjamin Krieger. “The technical work and discussions behind this legislation have been at full speed for the past years. Going ahead with the proposal now would make a huge difference and allow for its adoption still during the current legislative term.” 

Key considerations for a successful sector-specific regulation

Complementing the Data Act, the new sector-specific regulation should at least provide:  

  • Transparency on available data by vehicle identification number incl. metadata and formats;  
  • The definition of a common set of data supported by all vehicles;  
  • Sector-specific definitions of product, data holder, and data, especially with regards to the data protected by IP rights; 
  • Granting access to vehicle resources like display, audio, Google Android/Apple CarPlay environments and embedded software routines; 
  • The provision of a common automotive API (Application Programming Interface); 
  • A governance body or forum to assign roles, rights, authorisations, and liabilities, as well as processes for the provision of user consent and API releases and the regular revision of a common data set. 


    In: CLEPA News, Connectivity & Automation, Data
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