First there were electric cars, then there were Uber-ites and then there were self-driving wheels. But if the word on the street is anything to go by, the latest trend that can outstrip or accelerate even these seemingly-strong disruptions is something automakers never saw coming – Blockchain.
Every big and bold automaker, however, now is getting keen and serious about it. From what Porsche experimented with ‘Porsche Panamera’ (an app to directly communicate with the vehicle), to the use of mobiCOINS at Mercedes-Benz, Daimler AG for incentivising eco-friendly driving, to the use of crypto-ways in gauging traffic flows between cars and improving driver behavior by Ford – auto industry seems to be way past the first gear on blockchain.
The latest in this series is the consortium formed by Ford, General Motors, BMW and IBM with the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative for bringing in blockchain-enabled security and connectivity to the industry.
How can this technology, that was supposedly fit for financial industry, have anything to offer for what cars and car-makers deal with? Well, anything that comes to your mind where a tamper-proof, decentralised and neutral system can be of use – like tracking data, paying for vehicles, parking and picking vehicles in a sharing-business model, insurance, payments, smart contracts (like paying for electric charging stations), re-inventing parking, tracking autonomous vehicles, tagging cars and their parts with crypto-enabled tags and so much more.
Simply said, when information is not sitting in one corner; it is more usable, more transparent and more amenable to be used in new models for making driving safe, congestion-free, efficient, fun, energy-friendly, data-driven and yet, hacker-proof.
Don’t be surprised to find yourself behind this wheel soon.