How the blockchain can power automotive applications
The blockchain adds a heightened level of a security to many industries, the adoption of this technology allows users to have confidence that their data and privacy is secure.
The automotive industry of the near future is going to have a vastly different landscape compared to how it looks today. The shift for the sector to become increasingly advanced and integrated within our lives will continue to grow, and we think that blockchain technology will be an integral part of this transformation. We can expect to see a higher interest in the use of blockchain as a data and payment layer for automotive applications, as large businesses gradually come to terms with how to utilise and adopt blockchain as part of their core enterprise strategies.
But what can blockchain technology actually offer to the automotive industry?
Buying and selling a car — The use of cryptocurrency to buy and sell large ticket items has seen a serious growth in popularity in recent years, as it allows for car owners, through blockchain registries, to allow the easy transaction of a vehicle without the need of a so-called middleman or third-party broker. This allows for the peer-to-peer purchasing of vehicles, which can be far more transparent as the nature of a public blockchain enables the process to be more transparent. For example, it can be far simpler to see a car’s history, and to quickly verify whether it had been involved in an accident and would therefore give piece of mind to the buyer.
Leasing and financing a car — Blockchain allows for car companies to implement smart contracts, whereby if there is outstanding balance on a vehicle that hasn’t been paid, it becomes possible that a monitoring system in the vehicle, suitably configured with a public ledger, would be able to deactivate the car and stop it from working unless the outstanding balance has been paid. We’re talking ‘Crypto cars’ more than ‘Boris bikes’, allowing for short term rental of vehicles that use micropayments for continued usage.
Vehicle safety and data security — With cars becoming more connected to the internet of things (IoT), there is an increased risk of cyber-attacks. However, with the strong secured foundations of blockchain security, it can safeguard cars from these random attacks.
Car rental companies — It would allow for rental companies to monitor the current status of a particular car, whether it is available, in for repair or needing any services such as MOTs. It would be easier to log details of the car through the various data systems, and we can even envisage scenarios where the license of a car rental company can be verified by the customer at the rental desk itself, by checking for a valid on-chain license.
Telematics and car user data — As vehicles become more intelligent and safer, they require a high level of technology through the use of sensors and from this there is a lot of data handling needed to be processed by the car. The high amounts of data collected by these vehicles prove to be a weak point as the data is sent off to the manufacturer, with the use of blockchain technology it will be more safely secured and transferred back to the manufacturer.
Earn as you ride — The vast quantities of data involved with automobiles is not limited to telematics and analytics, but also to the data they obtain from the real external world. Forward-thinking companies like Continental are already beginning to experiment with new business models that allow drivers to collect data — just by going about their daily business — and sell that data to third party service providers, such as parking applications.
However, while these early efforts are progressive in making a first step, many rely on private blockchain platforms. The true potential of these kinds of applications is likely to only come to fruition when companies like Continental look to open blockchains, like Bitcoin SV, which provide true transparency for the data they collect and the payments that they authorise.