It collects information about the car that can be sent to BMW and third-party companies.
In our modern 21st century world, data is far more valuable than gold. BMW knows this, and has launched its CarData service to customers in Germany – the first step in a gradual rollout to other markets. In short, CarData will collect various bits of information such as miles driven, average fuel economy, and other event-based data such as automated service calls. Items like lateral acceleration, throttle position, and speed aren’t mentioned specifically, but it’s a safe bet those numbers are cataloged as well.
BMW cites lower insurance premiums as a potential benefit of the service, provided of course you elect to share the data with the insurance company. Faster service appointments are also mentioned, since dealerships can essentially “see” vehicle problems and order parts in advance. In the future, the data could be used to personalize infotainment systems, or provide other user-friendly services.
Data collected from the car is encrypted and transmitted to secure BMW servers, where it’s disseminated to various parties and CarData service providers solely upon the consent of the owner. If that sounds a bit too big-brothery to you, BMW is adamant about transparency and permissions with regards to the data. The company says owners have complete control over the data and how its used, and can easily grant or deny specific access at a “click of the mouse.”
Furthermore, BMW assures CarData users that its systems are secure from hacking by avoiding third-party access to the vehicle. Only BMW servers will connect with the car so in theory everything should be fine, unless BMW servers get hacked. The system does conform to the European Union General Data Protection Regulation in the works for 2018.
To enable CarData, customers must have a BMW with a built-in SIM card, which the manufacturer estimates to be approximately 8.5 million vehicles. Once customers register in the ConnectedDrive portal, BMW CarData is offered at no additional cost.