“Question 1”, voters in the state of Massachusetts passed a law that requires auto manufacturers to make key data from vehicles available to owners and third parties (like repair shops) via an open data platform, and to allow owners and independent mechanics to send commands to the vehicle for repair, maintenance and diagnostic testing.

On the face of it, this makes sense. If you own the car, you might want to own the data and access it as you please. What’s so hard? Well, first, getting vehicle data from vehicles is no easy task. Each manufacturer has slightly different data formats, so creating a single open standard will be complex and time consuming, if at all possible. Second, OEMs are rightly worried about the data security and safety risks of having open access to a vehicle’s on-board computer systems.

This is a space we know very well. We have integration partnerships with 7 of the top 10 global OEMs, and each day we are securely ingesting, analyzing and sharing critical vehicle data with owners (major fleets like car rental companies, fleet service companies and auto dealers). This didn’t happen overnight, however, and we’ve taken extremely diligent steps to ensure the privacy and security of data as well as protection of the vehicle system itself.

We look forward to supporting our OEM partners and customers as they look to comply with this new law, which some are suggesting could become nationwide in the US in the not-too-distant future.