Only a decade since its first application, blockchain technology is already being hailed as a revolutionary development. Even though it was only originally known for powering bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, its influence has already reached the financial, trade and media sectors in full force. Now, it turns out, blockchain could also usher in a new era for the automotive industry.
Making Autonomous Cars Safer
Paul Brody, who serves as the Global Innovation Leader at the consultancy firm, Ernst & Young, said:
“The time has come for blockchain to reshape the automotive industry. Using blockchain for automotive services permits true peer-to-peer interactions between owners with minimal infrastructure requirements. Data can be stored permanently and managed securely while automated permission and transaction processing will be made much easier.”
It was not long ago that electric cars were labeled as the next innovation in the automobile space. Now in 2018, and according to a recent UBS study, it is estimated that one out of every six cars sold by 2025 will be an electric car.
These cars, quite naturally, need to be charged at periodic intervals once their battery is depleted. Under these circumstances, a blockchain can be used at the charging station to record the electricity utilized while recharging.
A smart contract can also be built on the same blockchain to deduct a proportional amount from the car owner’s cryptocurrency wallet. Smart contracts can be made for parking costs, tolls and other similar charges as well.
Self-driving cars, or autonomous cars, will be increasingly common on roads in the near future as well. Blockchain can help increase the security of these rides too. Cars in the same city or on the same driveway can be connected to a common blockchain network.
Such automobiles would then be able to share data with each other, and all members of the network would follow a given set of rules. Connected autonomous cars can share their paths, allowing other vehicles to estimate traffic and then select the most optimal route.
In 2017, Japanese car manufacturer Toyota announced its plan to use blockchain technology to collect and analyze driving data to help aid the development of driverless cars.
Another great application of blockchains in the automotive segment can be in the ride-sharing space. As cars become autonomous, there will be no need for human interaction of any form.
As soon as a destination has been set, the smart contract will pair you with a nearby cab already moving in your direction, but with increased accuracy compared to existing solutions.
Lastly, it is often cumbersome to distinguish whether a replaced automotive part was genuine or a fake copy. But in using a blockchain, each mechanical and electrical component that ever passed through the manufacturing line can be time stamped, with an immutable entry of it made to the ledger.
As such, the applications of the technology in the automobile sector are limitless and have yet to be fathomed entirely, even several years later.
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