New Massachusetts Law Requires Vehicle Data Be Made Accessible

Simple sketch of the kind of telematics system found in any modern car. Hughes was acquired by Verizon in 2012.

Massachusetts has just voted by wide margin to extend their 2013 right to repair law to cover connected-car platforms and telematics (tracking and analysis) services after 2022.

The aim was to fight the growing problem of automakers restricting their proprietary diagnostics tools to anyone other than official franchised dealer networks. When the law came into effect in 2018, it required that every vehicle sold in the state has a “non-proprietary vehicle interface device” for accessing mechanical data.

The state now requires new telematics-equipped vehicles be made accessible via a standardized open-data platform for owners and their third-party mechanics or service providers to access a vehicle data from mobile devices. General Motors calls their telematics system OnStar, and Ford’s system is called SYNC.

The letter I signed in support of this new law is here.

Some background to these issues, which I’ve documented on this site since at least 2005, can be found here.

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