Friday, November 4, 2016

Big data grab: Now they want your car's telemetry

Management consulting giant McKinsey & Co. are predicting a huge rise in big data collection by 2030. They believe that the economic value of data will increase in part because of the opportunity to collect data on automobiles, or "exhaust" data. McKinsey explains, "the opportunity to monetize car data could be worth $450 billion to $750 billion within the next 13 years" which would increase the overall economic value of data to $11 Trillion. McKinsey argues that with an appropriate automotive product we will be able to collect real-time data on where people go and how they get there. This could be useful for countless reasons that range from proactive maintenance to better insurance rates.

I find this very interesting however, not very surprising considering that big data collection has become such a renown resource used throughout the world. This spikes interest because automobiles are a very different data source than most are used to. Most big data is used to follow trends and consumer behavior so that companies can be ahead of the eight ball and utilize the data in their marketing to specific demographics. Automobile data however, don’t seem that they would be used for marketing reasons rather it seems it would be used for personal benefit. The one aspect that I find very interesting is its use to affect insurance rates. This can be incredibly beneficial for the good drivers because it will allow their driving activity to be tracked and therefore the insurance company can record them as low risk. This is very similar to the Progressive Snapshot, which records drivers driving activity using factors such as number of hard brakes per 100 miles, total number of miles driven, speed, and total high risk driving time. This data can be very beneficial for somewhere their insurance can be based partly on how you actually drive, rather than just on traditional factors like where you live and what kind of car you have. However, this can stir up some issues for those not so safe drivers. In their instance, their driving is being tracked as well and therefore they may get slammed with higher rates.

I think this data could be very useful for a number of reasons however, issues may arise when considering security. Currently, many people are skeptical about sharing their location on their portable devices because they are fearful of being tracked everywhere they go. I believe that if the data consisted more on driving habits rather than the driver's location it would be mutually beneficial. Another thought is the fact that transportation may be taken over my self-driving cars. If that is the case then security would hold no position and the uses for the data would be altered considering there would be no driver.

1 comment:

  1. Jack’s article is interesting to me because it shows just how versatile big data can be. As he pointed out, many companies use the big data they collect to identify consumer behavior and purchasing trends, but there is so much more upside that executives rarely realize. The point about using driving data for insurance purposes was interesting, but also concerning at the same time. In theory it would be great to collect the data and analyze it to help drivers know about the various maintenance needs, and driving habits. However, for younger, more inexperienced drivers, it would be detrimental because the insurance companies could drive rates through the roof due to the different methods insurers like Progressive are using. I also have concerns about the privacy issues presented by tracking the data. If the vehicle is being tracked, then it is feasible that they location of the driver is being stored as well. This brings up the obvious concerns about “big brother” being able to see where people are without their knowledge.

    While the points Jack brought up could definitely be applied to this situation, something he didn’t talk about was tracking emissions. Recently, there has been a major push by environmentally minded individuals to move toward green energy in transportation. While many people are not ready to make the transition to electric cars, there is a way they could be environmentally friendly with the vehicles they currently own. Using the data collected from the vehicle, local, state or federal governments could offer some sort of tax cut based off of your emissions levels. This would promote ride sharing, biking or walking to places that are accessible by those means of transportation and would make a small, but significant on each individual’s carbon footprint.

    Like anything, there are many pros and cons to collecting and analyzing data collected from cars. I think that if the right safety nets and parameters were implemented, this would be an extremely beneficial practice for individuals and society alike.


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