The Auto Care Association and the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) are applauding the Rhode Island House Legislature for considering legislation (H.B. 7711) that would require car companies to provide car owners with the ability to control where information transmitted by vehicle telematics systems is sent.
Testimony, jointly submitted by the associations for a hearing held March 29th by the House Committee on Corporations, outlined some of the benefits of telematics to the auto care industry, including the ability for shops to obtain diagnostic data from a vehicle before it arrives at the shop, which could improve service bay efficiency and speed the vehicle repair process. However, the associations pointed to the fact that, “All of the data available from embedded systems currently goes to the vehicle manufacturer, allowing them, and only them, to reap the benefits of this technology.
“Specifically, armed with the extensive data about a customer’s vehicle, combined with the means to communicate directly with the driver in real time, the vehicle manufacturer has the ability to steer the motorists to the dealership or to a service establishment that may be a strong purchaser of their parts and information. While our associations both applaud and support the goal of H.B. 7711, at this time we cannot support passage.”
In the testimony, the two groups stated that, “While legislation may be necessary in the near future, we strongly believe that a collaborative approach would be faster and more effective, and we are more than willing to work to make that happen.”
CARE and the Auto Care Association explained that both groups are working with other associations as part of the Aftermarket Telematics Taskforce, which has been meeting with the car companies in an attempt to find common ground.
“This process is in its early stages, and therefore it is difficult to judge whether we will be successful. Should our attempt to find an agreement not be successful in the near future, we likely will begin pursuing a legislative resolution and would welcome the help of the Rhode Island Legislature in order to resolve this very critical issue.”
For more information, contact Aaron Lowe at [email protected].