IBM partners with BMW CarData; improves analytics emerging from connected car technology


IBM announced Wednesday that it is a pilot partner of BMW CarData. Recently released, BMW CarData will allow up to 8.5 million BMW customers globally to make use of third party services in a secure and transparent way. As a pilot partner, IBM has integrated Bluemix with the BMW CarData platform.

Vehicle data will be enhanced by IBM Watson IoT, using cognitive and data analytics services to enable third parties, such as automotive repair shops or insurance companies, to develop entirely new customer experiences.

BMW is the first OEM to release an open data platform with the introduction of BMW CarData. BMW CarData gives BMW ConnectedDrive customers the ability to share telematics data from their BMW vehicles with third parties of their choice.

With BMW CarData drivers can save money with individualized insurance premiums, based, for example, on actual mileage. Or enjoy faster service appointments, because, thanks to ideal preparation, the necessary part has been ordered in advance. But it is also easy to imagine totally new services in the future, such as personalized infotainment options.

A BMW with a built-in SIM card is needed to use BMW CarData. Around 8.5 million BMW vehicles currently meet this requirement. Once customers have registered their BMW in the ConnectedDrive portal, they are also able to use BMW CarData at no additional cost.

BMW CarData assimilates the data generated by the vehicle, including condition data, like mileage; usage-based data, such as average fuel consumption; and event data, like an automated service call. Some of this data is transmitted exclusively, in encrypted form, as so-called telematics data via the permanently installed SIM card to secure BMW servers. From there, with the consent of the customer, service providers can access the encrypted data needed for certain services. Data security is always top priority.

BMW CarData allows customers to manage how their telematics data is shared with service providers very simply. All it takes to release data, deny access or withdraw previous consent is a click of the mouse: The customer alone decides whether or not a company receives their data. Therefore, customers always maintain control.

Service providers, such as garages, insurance companies and fleet managers, can register with BMW CarData. If customers want to use a specific service and actively consent to the release of their telematics data, the requesting companies receive the data they need for the service in encrypted form via BMW’s secure backend. This information provides the basis for customized, data-based and innovative service options – from infotainment to smart home functionality – enabling a broad range of value-added services for customers.

BMW CarData was launched last month in Germany and will gradually roll out in other markets.

IBM’s cloud platform Bluemix also gives developers access to the entire service catalogue from IBM and its ecosystem partners to build and run new service offerings. Customers will have to actively agree to share their encrypted telematics data when they want to use a specific service from a service provider.

In addition, IBM will also act as a neutral server for extended vehicle access. This allows for the gathering of data from BMW vehicles but also vehicles from additional automotive manufacturers. In this role, IBM will help to realize the vision of a secure and open vehicle data platform as demanded by many players in the mobility ecosystem. The first use cases and client services are expected to launch in the fall of 2017.

“The concept of a neutral server fosters innovation by establishing a single point of contact for multiple parties to access vehicle data from various manufacturers, thereby reducing integration cost whilst ensuring fair competition,” said Dirk Wollschlaeger, General Manager IBM Global Automotive, Aerospace and Defense.

Bluemix has rapidly grown to become one of the largest open, public cloud deployments in the world. Based in open standards, it features more than 150 tools and services spanning categories of cognitive intelligence, blockchain, security, Internet of Things and DevOps.

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IoT Innovator

IoT Innovator