The automobile industry seeks a future powered by blockchain since it believes the technology is what could make self-driving and autonomous cars possible, reported Coindesk on May 22.
The manager of business innovation at Renault Innovation Silicon Valley, Sebastien Henot, thinks the blockchain technology will be beneficial for carmakers regarding their supply chain and that it could be the beginning of cars that have their own unique digital currency.
“Blockchain can bring cost savings to supply chains thanks to new levels of transparency and auditability, which would be of vital help in the unfortunate event of recalls. […] If you have an Audi and you want to sell it to buy a Renault, it would be very useful for the Renault dealer to be able to access the Audi birth certificate and see a standardized history.”
However, it is still in his early stages concerning standardization of the kind of data that will be shared and how it will be coded.
That is one of the reasons why the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative was launched at the beginning of May by a group of carmakers.
Henot still thinks that it will be a long process and that the carmakers should “start small.”
Henot mentioned that starting with certifying car mileage on a car shows a very simple and beneficial proof-of-concept.
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, odometer fraud, where car sellers falsify odometer readings costs more than $1 billion each year with a total of 450 million cars that are sold with a tweaked odometer.
Henot thinks the blockchain technology could eradicate this kind of mileage problem, “so nobody can tamper with it.”
Dovu, a startup that is partially owned by Jaguar Land Rover, raised $13 million in 2017 to encourage users to behave in a transparent and good way such as recording the mileage of their car regularly.
Dovu began a testing session with BMW employees, by asking them to use a Dovu-developed crypto wallet.
Irfon Watkins, Dove CEO and founder mentioned,
“If, like BMW, you own a lot of cars under a fleet management arrangement, it’s really useful to know how many miles those cars are travelling every week or every month – rather than every three years. By which time you might find you have an asset on your books worth a lot less than you thought.”
Dovu is also trying to use the blockchain to charge electric cars’ batteries in an optimum way “that doesn’t degrade the battery, as if it were a mobile phone,” Watkins expressed.
Henot also said that the blockchain technology would be used not only to make cars physically autonomous but to make vehicles economically autonomous.
Automobiles would then be able to “speak together, negotiate rights of way, parking and so on, using their wallets.”
David Fraser, a co-founder of Decentralized Autonomous Vehicles (DAV) thinks it will not only be cars and trucks that will be autonomous.
“There are many other examples such as autonomous drones, autonomous rovers (a drone that stays on the ground) and autonomous marine vehicles – some are already here, the rest are coming. […] Big players are controlling a lot of what is going on right now, but as new and open networks roll out, the silos will be shared and the gatekeepers will become irrelevant.”