IBM, ZF and UBS Partner to Develop Blockchain Car eWallet

Blockchain, Innovation | September 13, 2017 By:

IBM is collaborating with car manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen and investment bank UBS to jointly develop an open automotive transaction platform for mobility services based on blockchain. The partnership was announced at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

“Car eWallet,” which was originally announced by ZF in January, is a digital assistant that makes it easy to pay for electric car charging while on the go. It can also perform other tasks like opening the trunk or doors. The platform is built on IBM blockchain technology, which is provided through the IBM Cloud and driven by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, a blockchain framework hosted by the Linux Foundation. With this public cloud service platform, the partners intend to build a secure blockchain network that can collect fees for parking, tolls, as well as future use cases, including as car-sharing, energy provisioning to the power system, or delivery services.

The companies said that using a blockchain will prevent the need for a third-party vendor or central computing hub to process transactions and commands. The distributed nature will instead allow for a “reliable and unchangeable data record.”

“The trend toward car-sharing and future autonomous vehicles requires, now more than ever, a transaction ecosystem that everyone can use,” said Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. “The Car eWallet technology will reduce risks and costs while dramatically improving convenience for owners and users.”

“The world of mobility is quickly evolving with self-driving vehicles, electric cars and new mobility services having quickly evolved from visionary concepts into reality,” said Dirk Wollschlaeger, General Manager IBM Global Automotive, Aerospace and Defense. “Time of great change requires transformational solutions. Together with UBS and ZF, we are engineering a new mobility platform to redefine how, when and where traditional transactions occur.”

“In today’s digitally connected world, no single institution works in isolation,” said Veronica Lange, Head of Innovation at UBS. “As a leading financial services institution we pursue the development of a new platform that will transform how transactions and payments between vehicles and other machines can be done efficiently and safely.”