BMW’s 10 Partners for CarData Do Not Include Insurance Agencies, Yet

DETROIT — BMW Group has not secured a single insurance partner for its new service, BMW CarData, which launched in Germany late last month, Christian Clauss, BMW’s ConnectedDrive project manager, said at TU-Automotive Detroit yesterday.

Since launching on May 30, BMW CarData has secured 10 partners — none of which are insurance providers, despite the apparent benefits, but those relationships could be coming. “We don’t know who will be our partners,” Clauss said, but “we are pleased and overwhelmed of the response of third-parties that are interested.”

BMW CarData enables customized service options for BMW drivers based on data from the vehicle — including condition data, such as average fuel consumption, mileage, and more — generated through a built-in SIM card. With the consent of the customer, third-parties partnered with BMW can then access the encrypted data needed for certain services, such as insurance or maintenance and repairs, Heini Schulz, BMW of North America’s ConnectedDrive services manager, told attendees.

One use-case for BMW CarData is that drivers can save money with individualized insurance premiums. Drivers can also receive faster service appointments, because — thanks to the data sharing — the necessary vehicle part can be ordered in advance. It is also “easy to imagine” new services in the future, such as personalized infotainment options, according to a company press release.

“We are excited to learn who else might be interested in BMW CarData,” Schulz said at TU-Automotive. “What else can we do with that data?” There are third-parties BMW had no idea would be interested in this data, he added, and likely more companies will show interest going forward.

The 10 partners working with BMW CarData are “brand new companies you’ve never heard of,” Clauss said. BMW is also talking to several other interested parties, but “they are the same size as BMW, so they can’t move that fast,” he added.

BMW CarData is only live in Germany, but the service is slated to launch in the U.S. sometime late next year, Clauss said.

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