There is a lot of data coming out of the automobile industry. I was just reading about Udacity open sources an additional 183GB of driving data and the global public registry of electric vehicle charging locations with 42K+ listings, providing us with two examples from the wild. I'm seeing an increasing number of these stories about institutions, government agencies, and the private sector making automobile related data available in this way, pointing to a pretty big opportunity when it comes to aggregating this valuable "data exhaust" (pun intended) in a coherent way.
Whether it's self-driving, electric, car share, rental, or otherwise, the modern automobile is generating a lot of data. There are some significant ways in which the automobile industry is being expanded upon, and the need to understand and become more aware using data are immense. Making API access for this public and private data will be increasingly important.
There is a number of different interests producing this data, and they aren't always immediately thinking about sharing and reuse of the data, let alone making sure there is standardized APIs and data schema at play. Opening up a pretty big opportunity for someone to focus on aggregating all these emerging automobile datasets, making available via a unified API, and helping define a common set of API definitions and schema for accessing this valuable data exhaust from the industry.
I do not think that automobile industry data aggregation is the next VC fundable idea, but I do think that with some hard work, and the slow build of some expertise in this fast moving area, an individual, or small group of folks could do very well. I know from dabbling in this area that the auto industry, the department of transportation, and the aftermarket product and service providers don't always see eye to eye, and a neutral, third-party aggregator and evangelist has the potential to make a significant impact.