EU Data Act - Boon or Bane for the Automotive Industry

Driving a car is a ubiquitous behavior for almost all of us; sitting in a car, driving to the friend’s house for lunch on a Sunday morning. Hardly anybody would think about all the data the car or the driver produces, such as belt tightening, automatic transmission modes, GPS data, and many others. Newly defined legislation by the EU—the EU Data Act—focuses on just this kind of data and proposes rules on data availability, accessibility, and sharing. In a nutshell, the act tries to make more data available to more ecosystem players and sets rules about who can request, use, and access data and for what purposes. It is one of the key pillars of the European strategy for data, aiming to make the EU a leading data-driven society.

In this article, we want to provide a first perspective on the question of what the new regulation could imply for automotive companies that currently own big amounts of data. Imagine, for example, that during the weekly drive to the friends’ home, an indicator light flashes because the brake pads are worn out. Usually, you might drive directly to your OEM authorized dealer—but now an app (or something similar summarizing the best service and roadside assistance) tells you—based on data that it is allowed to access—where the nearest repair shop is and directly shares the required service and spare parts. That’s a big help for the individual, especially if the app additionally indicates where to get the least expensive service. If services can be offered at such high convenience, many drivers were to rethink their brand loyalty, that could translate into significant losses in after-sales volume for OEMs.