Auto Dealerships to Promote Vehicle Data Transparency and Updated Tech


More than eight in 10 U.S. vehicle owners and lessees believe car owners should have full access to and control of their vehicle's data, including maintenance and repair information, according to the results of a survey released today by the Auto Care Association.

The survey, conducted in August by Ipsos, a global, independent market research company, found 86% of consumers said vehicle owners should have access to driver and vehicle data, also known as telematics. Additionally, the survey found 88% of consumers believe a vehicle's owner should decide who has access to this data.

Potential Vehicle Lessees like to know exactly what they're about to spend their money on. According to AudienceSCAN, 55.6% of these consumers have used a search engine in the past six months to research a product they were considering for purchase. In the past six months, 31.9% have viewed a TV commercial on YouTube, 35.5% have used a mobile device to download an app for a product they were considering and 35.3% used a mobile device to watch a video about a product they were considering.

The findings from this survey come at a time when there is continued debate over vehicle data. Each year, vehicles get "smarter" and infused with telematic technologies, which enable real-​time, wireless transmission of information related to driving behavior, such as steering, acceleration and breaking; and vehicle health, including fuel use, emissions and engine hours. However, as this technology has advanced, vehicle manufacturers are gaining exclusive access to vehicle data at the expense of consumers.

"These results should be a wake-​up call to automakers," said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of Auto Care Association, an industry trade group representing 4.6 million jobs from coast-​to-​coast. "At a time when Americans don't see eye to eye on many issues, the results of this survey revealed a large majority of consumers support their right to gain full access to their vehicle data."

"Without the right to control where their data goes, car owners may face greater inconvenience, greater cost and fewer options for taking care of their vehicle," added Hanvey.

Among the survey's most notable findings was a low awareness of telematics, a form of wireless technology in vehicles that aims to make the driving experience safer and more convenient through monitoring and data collection, including maintenance and repair information. Nearly three in four consumers (72%) said they had not heard anything about telematics. Once provided with a definition, 63% of respondents still said they were not very or not at all familiar with telematics.

The implications for this lack of awareness were also apparent. Remote diagnosis of vehicle problems is one of the primary selling points of telematics; however, as of today, only vehicle manufacturers can take advantage of this information. As a result, vehicle owners have little to no choice when it comes to servicing their vehicle.

The survey found 71% of respondents incorrectly assumed that the vehicle owner has access to driver and vehicle data, which was greater than the percentage of respondents who assumed the vehicle manufacturer and the dealership have access to this data (59% and 44%, respectively). And nearly half of respondents (45%) incorrectly believed that vehicle owners own their car's data.

The survey's respondents also reported mixed feelings about advancements in vehicle technology:

  • Eighty percent agreed that the advancements in safety technology in vehicles make them feel safer on the road. However, 70% said they believe technological advancements in vehicles are making drivers too dependent on safety features;
  • Half (50%) said they are skeptical of new technology in vehicles; and
  • Fifty-​nine percent said they specifically look for new technology features in vehicles they are considering to purchase or lease, while 45% prefer vehicles with less technology features.

Auto dealerships can promote their vehicle transparency to Potential Vehicle Lessees in a number of ways. Last year, 69.6% took action after receiving an email advertisement and 61.1% reacted to either a text ad they received or an advertisement they saw on a mobile app, according to AudienceSCAN. They're also 62% more likely than other adults to click on text link ads on websites and, last year, 76.9% took action after seeing a TV commercial.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-​op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.