US new energy vehicle (NEV) manufacturer Tesla [TSLA:US] is working on developing a platform in China that allows car owners to access their driving data, as reported by Caixin on May 8. The platform is expected to be put into operation by the end of this year. This will make Tesla the first car maker in China to share such data. So far, it still remains unclear which types of data would be provided through the platform, and how much it would cost for each check.
Tesla has started providing data retrieval services from its event data recorder (EDR) to its vehicle owners in the US since 2018, which covers readings on the vehicle’s speed, braking, position, and else. In the US, all new vehicles should be equipped with an EDR from September 2014, while the Chinese government only introduced similar requirements in December 2020, with the installations of EDRs for all passenger vehicles becoming mandatory after January 1, 2022. Currently, Tesla offers EDR information retrieval for four types of its vehicles, including Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y, and a complete EDR retrieval kit costs USD1,200.
The decision to introduce a driving data sharing platform in China comes amid the rising concerns over Tesla vehicles’ brake failures. At its Shanghai auto show on April 19, the US carmaker was accused of having brake malfunction issues and providing false EDR data. In response, Tesla released the driving data for one minute before the controversial car accident to the public. Additionally, the car producer was also challenged in China for its potential national security risk. To ease these concerns, Tesla is planning to establish a data center in Shanghai by the end of 2Q21, to comply with local data security rules. With all these security concerns, Tesla only sold 25,845 vehicles in China in April, reporting a significant drop of 27% MoM.
To better protect privacy and data security for smart cars, China’s National Information Security Standardization Technical Committee published draft rules on the management and processing of data generated by connected vehicles on April 28 for the public consultation until May 15. According to the draft rules, car manufacturers would be banned from processing data unrelated to car management or driving safety, and data collected through cameras and radar regarding roads, buildings, terrain, and car locations would not be allowed to leave the country. Meanwhile, on May 12, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) also published new rules for vehicle data safety management, aiming to strengthen the protection of personal data and important security data for car owners.