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8 June 2018

Terbine secures ITS America win, builds automotive data marketplace

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) has announced a partnership with startup Terbine, to create a fist-of-a-kind data exchange – to be used by the transportation and logistics industries as a way to trade and share data, derived from vehicles and sensors. Based on Terbine’s cloud platform, the goal is to facilitate the seamless exchange of data between multiple parties.

The Exchange, as it is known, will support any kind of data type, and will also incorporate feeds from public agencies, corporations, and universities. Available now, to ITS America members, the backend service will ensure that all data is correctly treated and integrated. Providers, apparently, will retain maximum control over the data they commit to the Exchange – and benefit from Terbine’s management tools for up-to-date indexing and metadata.

Of course, Terbine is also going to be handling the commercial side of things, including the licensing and rights management, with the pair saying that the eventual goal was monetizing the IoT data housed in the Exchange. In such agreements, the pair need a symbiotic relationship – where an organization like ITS America stands to benefit from what a startup can offer, in a world where the startup couldn’t reach sufficient scale without the help of such a group’s members.

In the current set-up, ITS America members will be able to participate in the Exchange for six months, on a pilot testing basis. After this, they are going to have to start paying, as well as potentially earning money, and Terbine will be providing training to help them install their machine-generated data flows inside the Exchange.

ITS America members include, on the automotive side, Audi, Honda, Toyota, and GM, as well as networking types like Cisco, Panasonic, and Qualcomm. It also houses a number of state Departments of Transports, academic groups, and public service providers/specialists. Insurance broker State Farm is also involved.

Now, Here has similar plans for its Open Location Platform (OLP). It hopes to use its large market-share in automotive mapping services to, in-turn, generate data from the cars it serves to create a marketplace full of rich and up-to-date data – which can then be bought and sold, with Here taking a cut as the platform provider.

Terbine has previously outlined how it would differentiate pricing, where some access would be free to all but much of it would be priced according to how timely or rare the data was. Back in 2014, we noted that data protection regulations would be a major consideration for such platforms, and now with GPDR in full swing, that issue doesn’t seem to have gone away.

“Major paradigm shifts are occurring, driven by artificial intelligence, 5G wireless, ride sharing, autonomous air and land vehicles, all generating unprecedented amounts of data,” said Terbine CEO David Knight. “Working closely with ITSA, we’re solving the increasingly complex issues surrounding how that data gets efficiently curated and conveyed, by linking public, commercial and academic worlds.”

There is huge opportunity in these sorts of exchanges, and one that only increases as more data sources are integrated. In time, such a platform could become a one-stop shop for all the data a business might need to operate. Such platforms could enable the wide-scale deployment of sensing devices, as they could become sources of income for their owners – tiny derricks, in the ‘data is the new oil’ metaphor.

“This is a tremendous new tool that will help our members save lives and improve mobility,” said ITS America President and CEO Shailen Bhatt

at ITS America’s annual meeting in Detroit, where the announcement was made. “Everyone talks about ‘big data,’ but we need ‘big information’ to make a difference, and that’s what the Exchange will provide.”