Car connectivity turns vehicles into data-generating engines, which will have a transformative and far-reaching impact across the entire supporting ecosystem and value chain, says Daniel Layne, founder and CTO, Quotevine.
This is particularly true in the finance and leasing arena, and provides the platform that will propel financiers from a distanced, transactional customer relationship to a position of deep insight and consultative value.
Much of this value lies in the link between data and pricing. Currently, all car finance/lease contracts are based on guesswork and averages, with sales teams asking lists of questions to prospective customers and then deriving a standard cost from the customer’s answers. The same is true for enterprise fleets, on a larger scale.
The ability to draw information from past driver or vehicle performance will streamline the process, and allow for more accurate, and nuanced pricing structures, in line with the specific usage of the asset.
For a corporation operating a large fleet in the thousands of leased vehicles, data brings great potential for fleet optimisation. For example, if a business knew that a portion of its cars were left dormant during the day – as wasted assets – they could implement schemes whereby employees who live near each other and keep similar timetables could opt into a car-share scheme.
Alternatively, those who are office-based during the day could lend their cars out during these hours to support a mobile salesforce requirement.
This data detail could also be used to better manage duty of care requirements, by using car sensors to ensure drivers are not operating their vehicles for longer than is recommended, or highlighting when problems occur with the vehicle that may make it unsafe to drive.
Armed with this information, leasing companies can cement their consultative position with corporate clients, showing their understanding of wider business and societal priorities by linking pricing into eco and environmental agendas – for example, providing ‘nudges’ to fleet managers when drivers are not driving in a fuel-efficient way.
Connectivity in a consumer context
The trend towards usership rather than ownership is firmly established amongst consumers. We are surrounded by on-demand services which offer instant, flexible, and personalised experiences for travel, retail, film, home DIY and music.
As we have seen, these expectations cannot be contained within sector boundaries, and the car leasing industry is not immune to the need for seamless and streamlined mobility.
Connected cars will serve as fuel for vehicle leasing companies to provide Amazon-like digital experiences, by allowing them to connect real-time vehicle and driver data into their operations. From here, they can offer customers –refined offerings better suited to driving needs, habits as well as budgets.
Rising levels of vehicle connectivity allow vehicle manufacturers to engage directly with customers, enabling them to maintain brand awareness and promote maintenance and other service offerings.
However, external service providers like automotive finance companies are currently at a significant commercial disadvantage as they are unable to access this data. Action is being taken by stakeholders within the automotive finance industry, who are calling for greater levels of access to connected car data.
The European Commission’s Gear 2030 report recognises the importance of direct, safe and secure access to a wide set of in-vehicle data in real-time for the provision of connected services. It is critical for the measures outlined in this report to come into play soon to enable the advancement of the automotive finance industry.
From cost savings to safety benefits and tackling carbon emission, this initiative will set the industry up to present more innovative solutions, which are better matched to customer expectations – and our future society.
The author of this blog is Daniel Layne, founder and CTO, Quotevine