The car of the future will create 'history'

We already need a sheaf of documentation before we get behind the wheel, from driver’s licence to insurance, road tax to breakdown cover. To this we’ll soon need to add another document: a privacy policy.

At first glance it might seem fanciful that a vehicle should be subject to a data sharing agreement, but the automobile of the future – indeed, increasingly of the present – will be as highly connected as any laptop or smartphone.

The car of the future will create 'history'

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It will be a brave new world, but it comes with a catch – one neatly summed up by Ford’s global vice president Jim Farley: “We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it.” This is thanks to event data recorders (EDRs), which are becoming increasingly common in the US; these EDRs collect data on everything from seat belt use to air bag deployment. Many might see this as the price worth paying to bring down insurance premiums, but the nature of the connected car means that it’s not just your speed and direction that’s being recorded. Any data originating from the car – for example through Internet browsing, emails or apps – can be collected, and from any occupant.

Farley later apologized for his outburst and said in a recent interview that "we do not monitor and aggregate data on how people drive. I've given people the wrong impression. I regret that."

There are clearly some very serious questions that consumers may ask before they invest in a connected car, not least of which are how to protect the information that flows from their vehicle, and who actually owns this data.


Alex Todd Brand Manager at Easyinsure commented "There are of course benefits to this technology. Within a decade the majority of cars on the road will be able to identify problems before breakdowns occur, reduce crashes and help drivers save time and money."

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