Experts at Worldcore international company forecast the ways of using blockchain technologies in the auto industry. Six different scenarios of this technology’s integration in the auto business have come up. All of them are linked to the confirmation of ownership, location, payment, rental, or the operations conducted with the vehicle in good faith, for instance, technical servicing.
“An automobile is a complex, material-intensive, widely used physical object,” comments Alexey Nasonov, the head of the expert group and CEO of Worldcore. “It’s a perfect case study for the internet of things, where we’ve established the most general approaches to using blockchain technologies in the world that surrounds us.”
In the course of research, all the various scenarios of using blockchain in the auto industry and related segments have been narrowed down to six. These scenarios lead to the improvement of automobile and transportation safety, as well as to a decrease in transactional costs of owning or acquiring an automobile. The integrating factor among them is the essence definitely has not been altered in distributed ledgers with simple online access. From the legal point of view, the fact of the presence of the information in the blockchain is sufficient proof in civil relations – the relations connecting automobile manufacturers and users.
1. Proof of ownership
Works in the widest sense – “I bought it, therefore, I own it.” Applicable to all the numbered parts, including the automobile itself, large nodes and modules marked in accordance with the manufacturer’s or regulator’s request, the information on which is recorded in the manufacturer’s specialized blockchain. The access to such blockchain may be either unlimited or limited, i.e., in cases when the information falls under the personal data processing laws. For instance, it may include the information on the parts used in the production of an automobile with a specified VIN-number. Such projects have already been implemented by the leading manufacturers, recording the list of parts for each automobile that comes off the conveyor belt in a corporate database. For instance, for Mercedes-Benz, this internal EPC catalogue includes the feedback option, thus allowing any authorized dealer to make corrections in the catalogue when installing additional original parts on the automobile (retrofitting). Blockchain technologies allow to create such databases using the official dealers‘ blockchain nodes around the world, thus lowering the expenditures of the central structure, and, accordingly, decreasing the production costs and improving user convenience.
2. Proof of good faith
The ownership history of each automobile is recorded in the blockchain as well as all the accidents. The history of every driver’s traffic violations is also included in the blockchain. Integrated country-wide automobile event databases already exist, i.e., the best-known of them – Carfax, or the Russian GIBDD database (contains accident information since 2015). There’s no Pan-European database yet, neither is there a driver behavior database, which is lobbied by insurance companies. The degree of reliability of automobile and driver databases may be low in countries with a high corruption perception index, while blockchain automatically makes the data completely reliable, since even in case of subsequent data fraud or substitution, the initial information is still preserved in the blockchain.
3. Proof of rental
Auto rental contract database. Will allow to track some of the auto history, (in addition to the preceding provision), as well as the schedule of rental car use. May also act as one of the options for concluding a rental agreement electronically. Creation of a national blockchain automatically accessible to the regulator and police for both tracking the driver operating the vehicle at any point in time, and controlling the time of auto servicing. Concepts of joint vehicle ownership with an operating schedule committed to blockchain, as well of the trendy car-sharing (HireGo, HELBIZ, DACSEE) may be included.
4. Proof of payment
From purchasing the very first car for cryptocurrency to modern startups, such as the Project Oaken’s ecosystem currently under development with automatic road toll payment, insurance (usage-based, of course, with the information on the client in the blockchain, see art.2) and the auto ownership taxes. Precisely what the cryptocurrencies were intended for. Clear and apparent use.
5. Proof of service
A virtual service book for every vehicle, preferably, a global one. Will require the integration databases of the manufacturers and country auto market regulators that are responsible for traffic safety. During the warranty period, manufacturers are currently legally responsible for the technical condition of the vehicles and possess auto service databases. All that’s left is to integrate manufacturers‘ data, adding the national auto inspection data and accredited services and switch it over to blockchain. Then the legally significant auto service history, may then be accessible to anyone interested.
6. Proof of location
Recording vehicle movement in blockchain. One of the basic automated vehicle system projects. Also entails the smart-contracts with proof-of-location in various blockchain ecosystems, like FOAM foe Ethereum, or Tesloop for EOS, currently used only for positioning control in car-sharing projects, but easily scalable for use in robotized vehicles.
“In our research we have not specifically distinguished the organization of intra-vehicle blockchain-based information protocols as a separate type of works,” sums up Alexey Nasonov, “like the ones implemented by Porsche and XAIN, for instance. From our point of view, the convenience provided by blockchain in this sphere is less than certain, and this is no moe than hype around the use of new technology.”