Volkswagen Working On Blockchain Solutions To Bring The Technology On The Roadbr>
German automaker Volkswagen has announced that it is working full steam ahead to bring blockchain technology to the road.
In a press release, the German automaker said that while cryptocurrency is the most popular area of application for blockchain, the technology offers enormous potential for maintenance, logistics, self-driving vehicles, and specialized solutions such as tamper-proof odometers readings.
“Blockchain technology also offers a lot of opportunities when it comes to self-driving vehicles,” said Nicolai Bartkowiak from Volkswagen Group IT. “It can protect cars from hackers better than other technologies, and help with automatic payments at fueling stations or car washes.”
Volkswagen, which is indirectly majority owned by the Austrian Porsche-Piech family, is currently testing potential applications for blockchain and has built a network of nearly 300 employees, across all the brands, who exchange ideas on this emerging technology.
“We want our customers to become familiar with blockchain systems,” Benjamin Sinram from Volkswagen Group IT. “Our contacts among the different brands enable us to work very efficiently. The atmosphere is open, and we’re happy to include interested individuals from any department.”
According to the announcement, the company is currently testing a mileage clocking system, which will make it difficult to tamper odometers as every odometer reading can be saved permanently using a blockchain. The goal of the system is to make the used car market more transparent and secure for Volkswagen cars, which would help Volkswagen vehicles better retain their value.
“Customers can save their odometer readings in a distributed ledger system at regular intervals, said Sinram. “The data cannot be changed retroactively without somebody noticing that they’ve been manipulated.”
In a second area of application, Porsche is developing a blockchain model aimed at protecting cars from hackers. It enables Porsche owners to give other individuals – such as parcel delivery personnel – a virtual key to open or even use their car. The German automaker is also currently running a pilot study in Great Britain to test a blockchain model that streamlines business contact between providers and customers of electric charging stations.
“We’re building our own blockchain solution,” said Bartkowiak. “Regardless of whether they’re based on IOTA, ethereum, or other crypto technologies. The most important thing: we want to create added value for our customers. More security, more transparency, and partnership approaches to projects.”