Luxury automobile manufacturer Porsche has teamed up with Germany based start-up XAIN, to become the first automobile manufacturer to test blockchain technology applications directly in their vehicles.
Porsche’s Blockchain Pilot Program
In June 2017, the Berlin-based AI firm won the first “Porsche Innovation Contest” beating 120 other startups. Following the contest, XIAN and Porsche team worked for nearly three months on the blockchain pilot program.
Although Porsche did not mention what blockchain network it was working with, XIAN’s technology stack is based on Ethereum blockchain.
As stated in a Porsche press release issued on February 22, 2018, so far the company has piloted blockchain technology for locking and unlocking cars through an app, parking, encrypted data logging and temporary access authorizations. The car manufacturer is also optimistic that the digital ledger technology will improve driverless car functions.
In another the press release, Oliver Döring, Porsche’s Financial Strategist stated:
“We can use blockchain to transfer data more quickly and securely, giving our customers more peace of mind in the future, whether they are charging, parking or need to give a third party, such as a parcel delivery agent, temporary access to the vehicle. We translate the innovative technology into direct benefits for the customer.”
Also, blockchain smart contracts will permit third parties to connect without the need for any hardware. Moreover, it shields all communications between two entities making it more secure and efficient.
Uwe Michael, Porsche’s Vice President of Electronic Systems, concluded that “with this modern technology, we are also fostering our electromobility offensive: ranging from a faster, easier and safer authentication at the charging station to the payment process.”
Blockchain All the Cars!
The Porsche statement also indicates that employing blockchain technology in its pilot program proved that the process to open and close car doors using an app takes 1.6 seconds, six times faster than before. This happens when “the car becomes part of the Blockchain, making a direct offline connection possible – that is, without diversion through a server.”
The introduction of the blockchain technology will allow the user to gain complete control over their vehicles. The car owner will be able to know who, when and where their vehicle was accessed. The digital ledger technology will play a significant role when it comes to a trusted sharing economy.
Interestingly, the disruptive electric car pioneer company Tesla, have not shown any interest in the blockchain’s capacities. Tesla’s master plan includes a Tesla Car Sharing service which it hosts on its network, which may also provide an entry point for the implementation of distributed ledger technology.
In similar news, another German Automaker Volkswagen revealed its plan to embrace IOTA’s technology to revolutionize the automobile industry.