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Car Data, what is it and is it worth anything? 

When we buy a new car we are looking at the costs, make model etc., but in the future one of the most valuable thing about your new cars will be something you’ll never even see. So forget the engine size, shining exterior, its colour etc. it is going to be the data that the vehicle holds that will be much more valuable. Many people have made fortunes over the years selling cars and lorries and for many of us it is the second most expensive item we will buy (a house or apartment being the largest). The experts are now saying that the actual value of the vehicle, as we currently know it will pale into comparison to the riches to be gained from the data held by the car.

Data is the currency of the digital age and vehicle data could be the beginning of a modern day gold rush. This is being claimed by many high profile CEOs from manufacturers such as Daimler.

Cars increasingly have sensors and cameras to track their performance and their surroundings. Vehicle sensors, for example, can better tell when an engine part is in need of replacement. A back-up camera doesn’t just help us park, it can tell how many pedestrians or vehicles are on a street. Such sensors generate data, which in turn are analysed in order to make money. If you think this is impossible just look to Facebook and Google for example who offer free services to billions of users and make fortunes, millions from the data that they collect.

Self-driving cars are a thing of the future but are not that far away now and some are already being tested and in many way some already have self-driving options such as parking A true self driving car can generate 1 gigabyte of data per second, as stated by data consulting companies. At that rate, by driving for approximately 30 seconds this would fill up the memory on a typical I phone. By gaining more data this potentially means more money and all sorts of creative business ideas and opportunities will arises. By collecting data from vehicles, one is effectively digitizing the public space, unlocking potential safety, security, municipal and commercial benefits.

The selling of data has already started in certain parts of the world in Israel for example. One of the first and probably at this time the most common and well known is the parking app , which means that a car driving down a street can identify open parking spaces , thanks to the sensors and cameras. This information is valuable when using a car in a crowded City or town.

It has been predicted that by 2020 vehicle manufacturers will be able to make more money selling the vehicles data that the car itself! The ultimate goal of collecting data is building self-driving cars that can drive safely on all roads anywhere. Without vehicle data to “self-train” cars they will not function.