ROADPOL, EVU, DEKRA
Call For Access To
Connected and automated vehicles are increasingly to become the new norm in the automotive industry. PHOTO: DEKRAROADPOL, the European Association for Accident Research and Analysis (EVU) and the global leader in vehicle inspection, DEKRA, are calling for extending of data access to connected and automated vehicles.
The three partners urge the European Commission to draw up specific legislation in view of its Data Act proposal which is to set up general principles for access to and use of data generated by products. It is imperative for this legislation, ROADPOL, EVU and DEKRA insist, to cover access to in-vehicle data which is needed to carry out sovereign tasks, such as road accident investigation and analysis, vehicle inspection, and prosecution.
“European traffic police forces have – beyond their main task of traffic enforcement – the important task of investigating road accidents. More and more connected vehicles on European roads mean a serious impact on this task”, says ROADPOL president Volker Orben. “Police need access to reliable vehicle data in order to secure forensic evidence, possibly with support from external experts. Investigations have the aim to reconstruct how the accident happened – which is a precondition to decide who caused it. Automated vehicles have no drivers who can be questioned how the accident happened. This is a further reason why access to vehicle data is crucial”, adds Orben.
Jörg Ahlgrimm“For the purpose of accident research, but also for determining the causes of crashes, data generated in vehicles must be stored in neutral trust centers and be accessible for the legitimate stakeholders – without limitations by manufacturers or system providers”, points out EVU president Jörg Ahlgrimm. “For example, it will not be long until we must be able to determine whether, at a specific point of time, the vehicle was controlled by the user or by an automated system. Authorities need to have easy and quick access to the relevant data in such cases. When it comes to possible malfunctions of automated systems as a cause for accidents, storing the data in a neutral place will be especially significant”, says Ahlgrimm.
“This sector-specific legislation cannot only pertain to business-to-business use cases”, says Stefan Kölbl, CEO of DEKRA, the global number one in the field of vehicle inspections, carrying out roughly 27 million of them per year in 23 countries around the world. “Sovereign use cases absolutely need to be included. Access to the relevant in-vehicle data is essential if police and prosecutors as well as vehicle inspection organizations and accident analysis experts are to do their important job in the future, with vehicles becoming more and more automated and connected. This is very much in the consumers’ interest”, Kölbl further states. “The role of periodical-technical inspection is to make sure that vehicles are safe, secure and comply with environmental regulations throughout their lifecycle. This also needs to cover functions which could potentially be changed through a software update. To verify the correct functionality of vehicle systems which depend on software, such as advanced driver assistant systems and automated driving systems, independent and trusted access to unmodified and non-pre-filtered data is vital”, Kölbl stresses.
ROADPOL, EVU and DEKRA are convinced that the consumer using a connected product, e.g. a vehicle, must be made aware of who has access to data generated by the product and that any transmission of data can only happen with the user’s consent, unless the data transmission pertains to sovereign tasks. This is called the user-centric approach. Manufacturers should not have the monopoly over the data. For future mobility to be safe, legislators need to make sure that a clear framework for regulated data access is set up in a well-thought-out way and that such access is provided under the so-called ‘FRAND’ principles, which means fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access, the three entities insist.