Fiat Chrysler partners with connected-car data startup Otonomo in Europe

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is joining the network of an Israeli connected-car startup to collect data from vehicles in Europe that can be used to offer services like improvements to traffic control, parking assistance, insurance discounts and more.

The startup, Otonomo, collects vehicle information such as location, speed and engine health from automakers and fleet owners to provide to other entities so they can offer services to drivers and cities. The partnership signals the growing opportunities in monetizing data from vehicles — and Otonomo along with Fiat Chrysler has global goals, said Ben Volkow, Otonomo CEO.

Otonomo is collaborating with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to increase access to data from vehicles in the European Union.

"Car data represents the potential for hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue for OEMs," Volkow said. "How can they use that data to drive customer satisfaction? We work with OEMs to take the data that comes out from connected fleets for the launch of new services that creates value for the drivers."

Otonomo already has nine partners, including BMW, Daimler AG, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. FCA customers in the European Union could begin seeing benefits of the partnership in a matter of weeks, Volkow said.

Drivers must opt into having their data shared, he said. Otonomo's platform can prepare data in a way to be shared without driver identification to protect privacy. It then can be used to help cities with congestion and traffic flow management, give emergency responders advanced notice based on airbags triggering and hard breaking, find parking for drivers in urban cores or offer deliveries to vehicle trunks.

"It's great value for the city," Volkow said. "It's great value to the driver. It can save lives. This puts in our view FCA on the advanced side of the market."

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble