Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all and thank you for hosting this forum.

I recently purchased a pre-owned 2019 Honda Pilot Elite. I have technical skills, but I have not yet connected anything (like my phone or a USB drive) to the Pilot or the Pilot to anything else (like the home WiFi). I have not installed the Honda app, nor registered anything on the internet.

The 2019 Honda Pilot Elite offers many connectivity and data communications features. I continue to study them, but they leave many open questions about what data is collected and where it goes. I want to understand the details of what data is gathered, where it is sent, where it is stored, etc. There is the Honda website, the Honda phone app, HondaLink, the WiFi and USB interfaces to update Garmin navigation and the Pilot itself, the AT&T WiFi-in-the-car feature, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and probably more I don't know about yet.

It appears that the Pilot communicates maintenance, usage, and HondaLink feature information over the cellular network through Honda's servers, and the owner does not have control of some of that data flow. The Pilot can communicate location information as well. The Pilot can collect your contacts from your phone. Where are your contacts stored? (Only on the Pilot, I hope!) Who can see them? How are they secured? The same questions apply to other data, too.

The Pilot has a built-in cellular network connection, but I have seen where the Honda manuals say that the Pilot also uses your personal phone for its data communications. (Is that true?)

-> I am looking for detailed documentation with data and network security information regarding my new-to-me 2019 Honda Pilot. Can someone suggest additional resources so I know what data is collected, where it is communicated (and to whom?), what data flows I can manage and what data flows I have no choice about, firewall settings, etc.?

Thanks in advance. I could not find much help on the web. Even Honda makes it very difficult to find information unless you register first.

Any suggestions or advice would be welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I have not yet connected anything to my 2019 Honda Pilot Elite. I want to understand the connections before I do. I made a very crude attempt to gather interface information, and I hope that it helps you and me to figure out what connects to what.

See the next post for the file, which is long and detailed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Here is the file I created. I would appreciate edits, criticism, and most especially, answers. I hope that some people who have used these features can dive in and help out:

2019 Honda Pilot Elite Interfaces, Capabilities, and Related Data Flows
Version 0.5
15 October 2019
by "Pilotnaut"

Microphone
Cellular Phone (Pilot built-in cellular phone) - audio input
Bluetooth phone - audio input
USB phone - CarPlay and Android Auto - audio input
CabinTalk - audio input

Aux Input
Music from an older or incompatible phone.

Speakers
All audio output from all systems.
Audio may be independent from IR headphone and wired headphone jacks.

Back Screen
Video output from Blu-ray drive
Other in-car "apps"

IR Remote Control - For controlling back screen features.
IR Receiver - Receives user input from the remote control to the Honda Pilot.
IR Transmitters
Audio for wireless headphones
May be separate from cabin speakers

Blu-ray Disc Drive
Play CDs, DVDs (back screen), Blu-ray discs (back screen), MP3s
Other data??? (updates?)

Cellular Phone (Honda Pilot built-in)
Used for HondaLink:
Basic (included):
Roadside Assistance?, Service Appointments?
Link (included): Mostly cellular data, see below.
Security (subscription): Automatic Collision Notification?, Emergency Call, Enhanced Roadside Assistance.
Remote (subscription): Mostly cellular data, see below.
Concierge (subscription):
All concierge services.

Cellular Data (Honda Pilot built-in)
HondaLInk:
Basic (included)
Recall Notifications, Service Appointments?
Link (included)
Dashboard (mileage, fuel range, etc.), Vehicle Notifications, Vehicle Health Report, Favorites (locations),
Send Destination
Security (subscription)
Personal Data Wipe
Remote (subscription)
Key by Amazon; Remote Lock/Unlock; Geofence, Geofence, Speed, and Security Alarm Alerts;
Stolen Vehicle Locator; Find My Car, Destination by Voice
Concierge (subscription): Mostly cellular phone, see above.
HondaMusic??

GPS
Location information for built-in navigation
-> Does the GPS provide location information for HondaLink services(?) ... or is this done with the cellular network?

USB (special USB connector)
Power - charging cell phones (all USB connectors)
Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
Updates by connecting through personal cell phone tethering (???)
Honda Pilot updates
Garmin GPS updates
Updates by USB flash drive
Honda Pilot updates
Garmin GPS updates
Internet connections for Honda dashboard screen features - browser? etc. ???

Bluetooth
Cellular audio for personal phone calls
Music from cell phone
Apple CarPlay?
Android Auto?
Other?

WiFi (as the Honda Pilot is a WiFi "client" connected to an external WiFi, such as a home network)
Honda Pilot software updates
Garmin GPS updates
Internet connections for Honda dashboard screen features - browser? etc. ???
??? HondaLink features ???

WiFi Hotspot inside the Honda
AT&T (subscription): via cellular data from Honda Pilot built-in cellular modem
-> Can anything else be used to provide the internet connection?
USB port to personal cell phone tethering?
Bluetooth to personal cell phone tethering?

Local Data Storage - Flash memory (??)
HondaMusic
Contacts
What else?

iPhone Apps:
HondaLink
Remote Engine Start, Find My Car, Send (destinations) to Car, Schedule Service, etc.
Other Honda Apps:
HondaLink App Launcher
HondaLink Aha
HondaLink Navigation NA
Honda CabinControl

Android Apps:
Not investigated - I don't have one. Someone else is welcome to add info.

Honda-Managed Server in the Cloud
Something must be providing external HondaLink services to the Honda Pilot.
Something must be providing a "bridge" between the apps and the Honda Pilot.

Other Apps, Separate and independent from the 2019 Honda Pilot Elite:
Genuine Honda Accessories App - Choose and order accessories for your car, give wish list to dealer.
This is a standalong app, separate from the Honda Pilot
HondaMobile - Get news and info announcements from Honda worldwide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
OPEN QUESTIONS:
* Which Honda apps for my iPhone are applicable to my 2019 Honda Pilot Elite? (... and which Honda apps are applicable for Android users?)
* Can the Honda Pilot provide internal WiFi for passengers by tethering a personal cellphone with USB or Bluetooth?
* Does the Honda Pilot ever use your personal cell phone data for data such as updates, HondaLink, HondaMusic or other features???
* Can you use Bluetooth for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Some sources say yes, others no.

Unimportant questions:
* Where does HondaLink get its location information, from the GPS or the cellular network?
* Can I update the Honda Pilot or Garmin Navigation from the Blu-ray disc drive? (Does anyone care?)
* Is HandsFreeLink obsolete for my 2019 Honda Pilot Elite?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
329 Posts
I'll take a shot and answer what I can, as I also have a '19 Elite.

OPEN QUESTIONS:
* Which Honda apps for my iPhone are applicable to my 2019 Honda Pilot Elite? (... and which Honda apps are applicable for Android users?)
I am an Android guy but do not have a comprehensive list. I've used Android Auto and through that, only Waze and Tunein Radio thus far. I have the HondaLink app installed. I have never owned an Apple device of any kind, so I cannot comment on anything iPhone related.

* Can the Honda Pilot provide internal WiFi for passengers by tethering a personal cellphone with USB or Bluetooth?
I don't think so. The AT&T hotspot will do that. You get a free trial and after that it's $25 a month ot something. I have an S10+ with one of the higher-end unlimted data plans on Verizon. It includes unlimited tethering and hotspot capability. So, I have no need for the AT&T device or service.

* Does the Honda Pilot ever use your personal cell phone data for data such as updates, HondaLink, HondaMusic or other features???
Yes, it can and will if you set the permissions accordingly. You can even use your home WiFi or a WiFi hotspot device. I've been meaning to add another Ubiquiti AP to the mix in order to improve the WiFi out front (I have security cameras). An added bonus will be I can pair the Pilot to it for OTA updates, which in theory should be faster than using my phone data.

* Can you use Bluetooth for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Some sources say yes, others no.
For Android Auto, you must connect a USB cable to the USB port above the wireless charger. Again, no clue about Apple.

Unimportant questions:
* Where does HondaLink get its location information, from the GPS or the cellular network?
No idea, possibly both. I'd imagine both would make the security features more useful...

* Can I update the Honda Pilot or Garmin Navigation from the Blu-ray disc drive? (Does anyone care?)
You can update the vehicle software over-the-air or via USB. The Garmin navigation is done via USB in conjunction with the Garmin Express app on a PC.

* Is HandsFreeLink obsolete for my 2019 Honda Pilot Elite?
No. If I don't connect a USB cable to use Android Auto, my Pilot connects to my phone via Bluetooth just like my '12 Touring did.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I got a response in the "start here" thread, and wanted to add my own new information as well. See below.

Thought of you reading this article that just came out today from the CBC in Canada. Don't know where you are located (but ve haf vays of finding out :cool:); however, there are lots of interesting links therein pertinent to both north and south of the border.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/what-your-car-knows-about-you-and-what-it-s-telling-others-1.5304795

Suspiciously, Honda declined to respond.
Thank you for this helpful link. It expresses exactly my concerns and desire for more transparency and information. I found this useful document today. It is full of details about what information is collected. Use, retention, and destruction are all covered, but mostly appear to say that Honda has certain guiding principles, but does what it needs for its business:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I would visit Honda dealership and ask for their data privacy disclosure documentation - though likely you will just be given a paper version of that pdf. If they are doing something they do not want you to know, chances are you will not be able to find out. All things considered though, if you got a smartphone (which already got your contacts, location, etc etc etc), worrying about the car is like trying to lock the stall after the horse has bolted. In this day and age, unless you do have something to hide, taking extra steps to hide your data is only more likely to raise red flags with 'them'.
Good points. Thank you for the reply.

Actually, so far, I have not connected or updating anything, but I am close. Yes, I have a decent understanding of the privacy issues of cellphones, etc. I doubt that most people grasp the true extent of how they are tracked, but that is an aside.

My goal here is to gain a detailed understanding of what data is collected through interactions with my Honda Pilot, who controls the data, and how it is managed and protected. The PDF document above contains most of that information. If you read it carefully, you will learn that it gives Honda broad latitude in how it uses your data and how long it keeps it, and Honda can change it unilaterally. I would not assume that Honda engineering is so well tied into legal that the privacy document is kept up-to-date with engineering changes, either. Just because a company has a written policy does not mean that they follow it.

After reading and digesting the PDF file, I am ready to connect my devices and setup the car's online systems. I know that Honda will collect a lot of personal information, and I have little choice about it. Better than most, I understand how the collected data can be exploited and the many modes of failure that can lead to those exploits. Let us hope that Honda does a better job than most at protecting our personal information. Do not be surprised if someday there is a new story related to loss of control of that data. How easily people forget Facebook, Yahoo, Home Depot, etc. etc. etc. When is Honda's turn?
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top