When you think of the future of the auto industry it’s likely you envision high-performance electric vehicles that can pilot you to your destination safely. While all of these scenarios are already in the mix, there is another technology changing the auto industry from the inside out, blockchain. Blockchain technology provides automakers with some really cool ways to improve the driving experience for everyone.
Blockchain technology provides a host of benefits to both users and manufacturers. These large decentralized networks when combined with sensors, could open a new level in driver comfort. Here are just a few of the ways that blockchain technology is reshaping the auto industry.
Your Next Self-Driving Car Could Use Blockchain
Tesla Motors is the best example of self-driving vehicles available to the public. In its current setup, Tesla vehicles communicate to a centralized server that relays data to other vehicles. A blockchain-based version of this system would enable the vehicles to communicate directly and exchange information securely in a peer-to-peer manner.
Furthermore, this system could provide the driver with the ability to decide what data to share and what not to in a transparent manner. The shared information could then be transferred into a cryptocurrency and sold to interested parties. This information could also be fed to the larger auto blockchain with the owners receiving rewards for their contributions.
The main thing to understand is that a blockchain-based system would provide a more robust data field for vehicles to leverage. This data could then be paired with other information. You could have cars that can be set up to hold your ownership and customer account information, geo-locational information, and even your vehicle repair history.
When you combine this depth of data with other technologies such as the Internet of Things and AI machine learning, you start to see just how much more efficiently the system could operate. Notably, all major automakers have some blockchain pilot program in the works or operational. MIT has been researching how to integrate blockchain technology into self-driving vehicles for years.
Interestingly, their biggest concern with the technology has nothing to do with the sensors or piloting the vehicle. The project has had to spend the most time researching the effects that a malicious cyber attack could have on these networks.
Its one thing if an exchange gets hacked for millions in crypto. It’s an entirely different story if everyone’s self-driving cars go haywire. Consequently, these security tweaks will determine just how soon your self-driving car can pay its own tolls.
Another way in which automakers want to integrate blockchain technology is in supply chain management systems. Logistics is a major concern for automakers. A single vehicle can have items sourced from thousands of vendors. Additionally, these items need to travel thousands of miles before they can be assembled and the final product shipped to vendors.
Supply chain woes cost vehicle manufacturers millions every year. As such, there has been a push to introduce a blockchain-based network into the industry as fast as possible. IBM was one of the first firms to work on a platform to accomplish this goal. Today, there is a myriad of supply chain blockchain systems. These networks leverage sensor data collected from smart devices and blockchain consensus to provide real-time logistics on products.
Vehicle Ownership Rights
Buying and selling your vehicle can be a pain because you need to do a bunch of different steps in terms of transferring your title. In most places in the US, you need to bring your title to a dealership, title agency, or the DMV. This takes time and effort and can be especially difficult when selling your car to people who live out of state.
Tokenized auto titles provide a lot of benefits to the market. For one, they are immutable, so the data remains intact and unaltered indefinitely. Additionally, it could be much easier for people to run title checks on cars using blockchain explorers. You could even see the previous owners of your vehicle. Now imagine a day when you can transfer ownership of your car as easily as sending someone a Bitcoin payment.
Along the same line of thought are the advantages new buyers would receive. Platforms like CarFax.com have earned millions in profits helping users determine if a car was a great buy. Notably, this data is centralized and can be altered without your knowledge. A blockchain-based system could provide an in-depth detailed report on the vehicle in question.
The vehicle history could even include manufacturer logistics information such as the plant the car was built at and the date. You could even see where the parts were sourced from and its early quality test results. The possibilities are endless in terms of data you can store.
One company that has managed to make a name offering these services is VinChain. VinChain was an early entry into the market. They specialize in title tracking and vehicle registration. VinChain users can access additional data such as their vehicle history. Notably, VinChain users can transfer the ownership of their cars directly on the network.
Vehicle Location Monitoring
Another area where blockchain technology is set to take center stage is fleet management. Auto manufacturers have to manage thousands of vehicles to conduct their business operations. The current paper-based systems rely on human interactions. Naturally, they are slow, cumbersome, and expensive.
Blockchain-based vehicle management systems can provide real-time geo location data to users. The network leverages consensus to establish the location of every node efficiently and without the need for third parties. As such, firms that use large fleets of vehicles have much to gain from the blockchain revolution.
Blockchain Cars are in the Works
The day is quickly approaching where your ride may not even be human. Recent advancements in self-driving applications, combined with the prospect of emerging technologies, provide the world with a glimpse of what the auto industry’s future may hold. For now, it’s worth your time to keep an eye on some of the auto-based blockchain networks coming to the market.