VW and Mercedes call on carmakers to have separate data platforms

Article by Andrew Christian, on November 4, 2014

Volkswagen Group and Mercedes-Benz are urging other carmakers to set up separate platforms for data on vehicle use to avoid sending sensitive customer information to Google. According to VW Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn, while carmakers seek connection to Google's data systems, they still want to be the “masters of our own cars."

He noted that there could be potential conflict when making data available. Due to increasing demand from customer for seamless connectivity, carmakers are seeking better ways to make more Internet services available in their offering. Carmakers are also seeking to install systems allowing vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

Such in-car systems have lead technology giants like Google and Apple to see an opportunity to expand their services. In fact, these tech companies are offering systems that allow people to connect to the Internet even while on the go.

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche remarked that it was “very good" that carmakers are discussing their own vehicle data systems to avoid too much dependence on "third parties." He noted that having their own separate data systems will boost carmakers’ position when working with Google.

Zestche quipped that Google tries to accompany people throughout their day, to generate data and then use it for economic gain – a point where a conflict with the tech giant may become inevitable.

As for the US-based tech firm, it has made moves to develop a driverless car, which means Google could soon become a major rival on autonomous mobility to carmakers. However, Google’s concept of a car takes the joy of driving, as it lacks a steering wheel and a brake pedal.

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