Cars are already released in 2020

A modern car collects this data

Only the vehicle manufacturers currently know in detail what data is generated, processed, stored and sent in current cars. As a neutral institution, the ADAC has made its own initial findings in terms of consumer protection and information for members.

The results in detail

During the investigation of a Mercedes B-Class with the me-connect system and a Renault Zoe, the following data were found, among other things, which was noticed in the interests of consumer protection.

The study was carried out by the external experts Stefan Nürnberger (CISPA / DFKI) and Dieter Spaar. Due to their highly experimental nature, the results are to be assessed qualitatively and cannot be compared directly with one another or even converted into rankings.

In theMercedes B-Class(W246, 2011-2018) with "me connect" the following data was noticed: *

  • Every two minutes, the vehicle's GPS position and status data are transmitted to the Mercedes backend (e.g. mileage, fuel consumption, fuel level, tire pressure and levels of coolant, washer fluid or brake fluid)

  • The number of times the seat belts are tightened by the electric motor is saved, e.g. due to heavy braking (allows conclusions to be drawn about the driving style)

  • Fault memory entries are partially stored with information about the engine speed or temperature being too high (allows conclusions to be drawn about the driving style)

  • Kilometers driven on motorways, country roads and in the city ("highway-conditions", "road-conditions" and "urban-conditions") are saved separately (allows conclusions to be drawn about the usage profile)

  • Operating hours of the vehicle lighting are saved

  • the last 100 charging and discharging cycles of the starter battery are saved with the time and date as well as the mileage, which results in driving and idle times

At theRenault Zoe(first model series 2012) the following conspicuous data were found:

  • Renault can stop charging the drive battery at any time via a cellular connection (for example, if the lease bill for the drive battery has not been paid)

  • Renault can read any information from the vehicle's CAN data bus via RemDiag via a cellular connection. This remote diagnosis is switched off by default, but can be activated by the manufacturer at any time

  • A data package is sent to Renault every time you drive, but no later than every 30 minutes, containing at least: VIN, various serial numbers, date, time, GPS position, temperature, charge and cell voltage of the high-voltage drive battery; this information can also be requested from Renault at any time

  • In addition to the permanently programmed functions of communication between the Renault server and the Renault Zoe, these functions can be expanded as required via a cellular connection

Comparison to the 2015 study of the BMW 320d and BMW i3

In 2015, the ADAC examined a BMW 320d (F31) and, in part, a BMW i3 (I01) on behalf of the FIA. On the whole, the results of the BMW 320d and Mercedes B-Class are comparable, even if there are differences in the details, which is partly explained by the different equipment of the vehicles. Wear and usage data are mainly collected for parts that are subject to corresponding loads or have a limited service life. In particular, the engine and transmission play a special role.

Personal data is stored in the head unit (central infotainment control unit), especially if the contacts are synchronized with the head unit when the phone is connected via Bluetooth. Similar data is transmitted to the respective manufacturer via the mobile radio interface of the telematics control unit, even if the functionality of the two vehicles is very different here. Because some of the possibilities of the ConnectedDrive in the BMW were not available in the Mercedes-Benz in the specified equipment.

The scopes of investigation of the four cars were not identical and therefore cannot be compared directly.

At theBMW 320dthe following conspicuous data were found in 2015:

  • Maximum engine speed reached with the respective mileage (allows conclusions to be drawn about the driving style)

  • Number of journeys between zero and five, five and 20, 20 and 100 as well as over 100 kilometers (allows conclusions to be drawn about the usage profile)

  • Duration, how long the driver was on the road in different modes of the automatic transmission (duration / manual / sport) (allows conclusions to be drawn about the driving style)

  • Operating hours of the vehicle lighting, separated according to individual light sources

  • Number of adjustments of the electric driver's seat (allows conclusions to be drawn about the number of drivers)

  • Number of media inserted in the CD / DVD drive (allows conclusions to be drawn about the intensity of use)

  • Number of electromotive belt tensioners, e.g. due to heavy braking (allows conclusions to be drawn about driving style)

The electric carBMW i3 transmits the following conspicuous data to the manufacturer via a so-called "Last State Call" (automatically after each time the ignition is switched off and the vehicle is locked):

  • Contents of the error memory

  • detailed data of the drive battery (state of charge, cell temperatures, etc.)

  • Intermodal connection points (at which other means of transport such as bus and train were changed)

  • Selected driving mode ECO / ECOPLUS / SPORT

  • Application data of the gasoline-powered range extender (REX)

  • how often was the charging plug inserted

  • how and where was the charge (fast, partially, etc.), how much the drive battery was previously discharged

  • Mileage for various operations such as charging, etc.

  • Quality of the charging voltage, failures

  • Position of the 16 previously used charging stations

  • Around 100 last parking positions of the vehicle (can only be read out directly from the control unit)

Vehicle data: This is what the ADAC demands

Much of the data that the car collects already provides information about thetechnical condition of the vehicle as wellMobility habitsof the user. Studies by the ADAC have shown that the GPS position of the vehicle (and thus of the driver) is transmitted almost every minute. In some cases, electromotive belt tensioners are even saved, which allows conclusions to be drawn about the individual driving style and braking behavior.

More data transparency

That is why the ADAC is demanding moretransparency: Automobile manufacturers must publicly offer a list of all data collected, processed, stored and externally transmitted in the vehicle for each model ("car data list"). This collection must be accessible to the consumer with a reasonable amount of effort (e.g. at the authorized dealer or on the Internet).

When a new vehicle is launched on the market, this data list must be checked by a neutral body for compliance with thePrivacy Policy to be checked. In addition, random checks are required to determine whether the manufacturer has actually submitted a complete list. Data economy is important.

No exclusive access for the manufacturer

In addition, the ADAC calls for anon-discriminatory access to the vehicle data for vehicle users, independent workshops and breakdown helpers. This is the only way to ensure freedom of choice for consumers and fair competition.

That is at least as importantData security: Automobile manufacturers must be obliged to up-to-date protection of data over the entire service life of the vehicle. For this purpose, neutral evidence must be submitted, for example through certification in accordance with Common Criteria ISO / IEC 15408 - e.g. via the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

A corresponding IT security concept, which also enables secure and non-discriminatory access to vehicle data, was developed on behalf of the FIA ​​(Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). You can find this study here **.

Freedom of choice for drivers

And finally, every vehicle owner needs theData processing and forwarding by a so-calledOpt-out procedure Can be switched off easily, provided this is not absolutely necessary for operation (see key switch for passenger airbag deactivation). This does not, of course, include data prescribed by law (e.g. eCall, emissions control).

ADAC technology president Karsten Schulze says: "We need a legal regulation that ensures that vehicle owners have their own data, control the release to third parties and can benefit from the marketing of data-based business models. From the ADAC's point of view, the vehicle owner must firstly know which ones Data are collected. Second, they must be able to decide for themselves who has access to the data and for what. They must be able to select and deselect providers and data-based services themselves. Specifically, this means that the EU Commission has proposed a law for a free, from the manufacturer independent, secure access to the vehicle data. Workshops, mobility service providers and startups as market participants, as well as the ADAC as breakdown helpers, are interested in giving the vehicle owner the opportunity to benefit from their own data at their own discretion. "

The current ADAC position on "data in the car"

Methodology and background

The aim of the investigations was to determine which data is collected, stored, processed and sent in the individual control units of the relevant, exemplarily selected cars. In particular, the following questions were addressed:

  • What data is collected in the control units of a current vehicle?

  • Where are these stored?

  • How long are these stored?

  • For what purpose are they stored?

  • Are these sent out?

  • Can the owner see these (e.g. via diagnostics in the workshop)?

The vehicle manufacturers did not have any information on the points to be examined, and for a large part no public documentation was available. Since the investigations are highly experimental in nature, no guarantee can be given for the correctness and completeness of the results. It should also be noted that the results only relate to the vehicles examined and may differ for other cars - even of the same model.

The examination criteria could not be precisely defined in advance, as the external experts first had to familiarize themselves with the "electronic language" (proprietary protocols) of the respective vehicles, without having to use "dictionaries" or "language teachers" (= information from the manufacturer). would have existed.

The commissioned experts expanded and analyzed control units and recorded internal and external communication as far as possible.

* According to the manufacturer, some data are only transferred after activation by the owner.

** By clicking on the link you will be redirected to an external website, for the content of which the respective website operator is responsible.

How did you like the article?