ISMANING (dpa-AFX) - Cars that independently navigate to the next parking space or automatically alert the garage: The planned EU data law could change driving in Europe, according to Allianz Insurance. If Brussels were to transfer control of the wealth of data produced by today's vehicles to car owners, insurers and other companies could use this data to offer new or better services. And traffic could become safer, Allianz board member Klaus-Peter Rohler argued Tuesday at the group's annual Car Day in Ismaning near Munich.

Take an accident, for example: "The data is already transmitted at the moment of the accident. While I'm practically crawling out of the car, the tow truck and, if necessary, the rescue services are already on their way, the appointment at the workshop has already been made," said Frank Sommerfeld, head of Allianz Sachversicherung.

Since 2018, the Ecall emergency call system for accidents has been mandatory for new cars in Europe. But its data is used to alert emergency services in the event of serious accidents and is not intended for external service providers.

However, experts believe that far more services are conceivable based on the wealth of data produced by modern vehicles. According to Rohler, cars could direct their drivers to free parking spaces in the future without them having to spend a long time circling around: "Using millions of live camera and position data from vehicles could solve the problem of finding parking spaces in inner cities."

Another example would be to examine a vehicle without visiting a repair shop. Norbert Dohmen, chief executive of Caruso, a car data service provider, said. Among other things, that means a car could ideally report a technical problem on its own before a defective vehicle breaks down on the road or causes an accident. "But we are only at the very beginning," Dohmen said of the multitude of technical possibilities.

The "EU Data Act" is intended to regulate the rights to use the flood of data that networked machines generate, cars included. The law is not without controversy. Car manufacturers are not the only ones who fear that they will be deprived of the fruits of their technical development if they are required to share data with third parties without restriction.

In 2021, the auto industry association VDA had proposed that "authorization management" for car data should remain with the manufacturers. A common industry concern is that technical developments and trade secrets could end up in the hands of competitors. Insurers, in turn, are calling for a neutral data trustee - they fear that automakers want to secure the potentially lucrative data business for themselves.

The EU Commission, on the other hand, wants to use the data law to strengthen the legal position of users - transferred to cars, that means their owners. They are to have the right to transfer the use of vehicle data for maintenance, repairs and other services to a company of their choice./cho/DP/jha