Future of Mobility, Part I: Who Will Own Vehicle Finance Data?

  • Emma Sandler
  • June 19, 2017
  • 2

There have been countless discussions surrounding data and autonomous vehicles — everything from how much data they will consume to how much data they will produce. But who will own the car financing data is still unclear.

A Deloitte study explored the possible impact of self-driving vehicles on auto finance, and determined that autonomous vehicles can dramatically change the number and size of loans, as well as who will require them. The report found that borrowers will no longer be individual car owners, but rather businesses, with overall loan volumes declining. This new mobility ecosystem is likely to be determined by two key factors: the degree to which mobility is personally owned or shared, and whether vehicles remain in human control or are fully autonomous, according to the report. The combination of those factors yields four potential states of mobility, with quadrant four (below) showing a convergence of both the autonomous and vehicle-sharing trends.

Courtesy of Deloitte University Press/DUPress.com

Since the report was published, the rate of exploration in new self-driving technology and the industry push into quadrant four — whether its auto finance or mobility as a whole — is significantly faster than what co-author Cameron Krueger had expected a year or two ago, he told Mobility Finance.

As part of a larger discussion of what’s taking place within mobility and auto finance (which we will present in five-part series), Krueger spoke with Mobility Finance about data ownership between the various mobility players, like OEMs and rideshares, why data is important, and issues related to data privacy.

“The golden ring is data,” Krueger said. “It’s not by chance that so many people want to be the digital presence of a car. It’s worth a lot of money.”

How much money? By 2030, the total value of data from self-driving vehicles could be about $1.5 trillion, according to multiple reports. But there isn’t a clear winner or loser yet, Krueger said, when it comes to who will profit the most in the auto finance sector.

Some OEM captives, for instance, have taken a digital wallet approach.

“The auto captives are a very natural place for that data to exist,” Krueger said. For now, a digital wallet experience means paying for drive-thru restaurants or parking lots directly through the vehicle, without the need of a separate payment system. But a digital wallet could also offer opportunities to pay for a vehicle lease, loan, or other innovative models of mobility consumption, like vehicle subscriptions. And data gathered from a digital wallet could assist in underwriting, and help lenders understand how mobility is being consumed, Kreuger said:

“It [also] solves many of the data privacy issues…nobody will have better knowledge of the consumption of mobility and the asset providing mobility than the captive.”

But rideshares too have a place in the mobility ecosystem, Kreuger said. After all, as seen in quadrant four, vehicle ownership is moving away from traditional private ownership toward shared ownership — which is predominately motivated by rideshares. But that isn’t where rideshares stop in the future mobility space. Those companies are in an equal position to harvest and monetize the data from autonomous vehicles for use in auto financing, Krueger said. However, this trend hasn’t gained much traction yet, he added.

“A rideshare company has to look where they are going to position themselves,” he said, adding, “There could be fleets of vehicles that are spewing digital exhaust that is owned by the captive or OEM…there’s a lot of other players in the market. [But] We haven’t seen anyone in the traditional rideshare business monetizing the data.”

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