According to a recent Fleet Technology survey by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), the majority of fleet managers and leasing companies believe vehicle manufacturers are obliged to provide free access to connected car data. Around 70% of respondents to the survey said that manufacturers have an obligation to share their connected vehicle and driver data, with up to 86% saying that no payment should be required for access. These results follow a position paper by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) which states that unless vehicle manufacturers have entered into specific legal agreements with the registered keepers, or have an explicit contractual obligation to share it, then any user data collected by connected vehicles can only be shared with the express consent of the vehicle user. In other words, manufacturers do not have an obligation to provide their vehicle data to registered keepers by default. A majority (57%) of fleet managers felt that they should control access to personal data collected through connected vehicles, while up to 62% of leasing companies saw it as their own responsibility. The survey also showed that both fleet managers and leasing companies desire the freedom to use their own telematics systems to monitor driver behaviour, independent from the systems of car manufacturers. A large majority (79%) stated they were concerned that vehicle manufacturers may restrict access to telematics data, with 89% saying manufacturers should allow the installation of third party telematics devices as long as they meet security standards. Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the BVRLA, said: 'Our sector had a very clear message that we wish to build on the telematics offer that leasing, rental and fleets are utilising today, and we perceive there being a real risk with this restriction of data by the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in terms of being able to do that and be competitive in the market.î Documents produced by the industry bodies including the SMMT do not pay enough heed to the current applications of telematics in the fleet sector, Keaney suggested, despite 'ensuring equal accessî taking up a 'significantî part of the BVRLA's negotiations with manufacturers. SMMT proposals state that the company car driver who signs the terms and conditions for the connected vehicle services 'must be put at the heart of any data consent processî. Regarding data-sharing by drivers, the BVRLA survey found that most motorists were happy to share their data if it helped to: diagnose or prevent future faults (95%), automatically notify a breakdown company (93%) or help a manufacturer to identify safety or warranty issues (82%). However, they were less keen on sharing information about driving behaviour and performance (44% 'not comfortable') or about their location, weather conditions and vehicle performance (36% 'not comfortable'). Interestingly, up to 53% of fleet managers and leasing companies stated they were unclear on exactly what data manufacturers will be collecting. Fewer than half of respondents (47%) agreed that manufacturers were willing and/or able to inform them about what data is being collected. Vauxhall, owned by General Motors, is one manufacturer which has been willing to share data with its vehicle leasing and fleet managements customers. Kenneth Malmberg, business development lead in Europe for infotainment and telematics at General Motors, states that the manufacturer does not 'sit and retrieve hoards and hoards of dataî. 'The only data we take from the vehicle is shown on the OnStar fleet manager page,î he said. 'There is probably about 600 elements you could take off a vehicle and I don't think any one company needs the 600 elements so we have set packages.î Any data beyond these set packages would need to be discussed on a 'case by case basis,î he said. Keaney added that the BVRLA's negotiations with a number of OEMs had been 'far more constructive and openî than the SMMT's Connected and Autonomous Vehicles paper suggests. 'So we remain very confident to be able to find our way through this,î Keaney said. It is possible that the fast space of autonomous vehicle development may force the hand of car manufacturers to share their data in a more standardised manner. Jay Parmar, director of policy and membership at the BVRLA, suggests that data access is an essential component of autonomous driving in the UK and that 'it needs to be carried out in a standardised wayî. 'I think Government may push OEMs to work together. If we are to have autonomous driving we need to make sure the infrastructure is able to communicate with the car and the cars are able to talk to each other in a standardised way,î he said.