Volkswagen, one of the few auto companies to accept and experiment using blockchain technologies. It has formed a lot of partnerships with blockchain companies to tap the enormous potential it offers for auto industry which includes maintenance, logistics, self-driving vehicles, and specialized solutions such as tamper-proof odometers. In a recent move, Volkswagen has partnered with the IOTA project to launch its first working product called Digital CarPass.
Digital CarPass- the future of mileage evaluation
The project that IOTA and Volkswagen have been working on is a service known as “Digital CarPass.” It is like a report card for a vehicle that uses a distributed ledger to ensure data such as mileage is reliable. For the development of the technology, Volkswagen tapped the Iota Foundation, a Berlin-based nonprofit and one of the best-known initiatives in the crypto community.
Volkswagen’s Head of Blockchain Benjamin Sinram, in an event in Tel Aviv, Israel, elaborated on the 5 blockchain pilots that the automobile giant was pursuing, of which the initiative with IOTA was the farthest along in development. IOTA and Volkswagen announced their partnership in February 2018, but this news marks the first major development in their joint efforts to bring IoT to the automobile industry. The launch will be a milestone for the project, and a public test that allows them to gauge efficacy and quality. Sinram said that CarPass will be launched in early 2019.
IOTA too shared the same news using its Twitter handle
“For the development of the technology, #Volkswagen tapped the #IOTA Foundation, a Berlin-based nonprofit and one of the best-known initiatives in the #crypto community. Sinram said that #CarPass will be launched in early 2019.” #VW #Tangle #SmartMobility https://t.co/sKGFBrQLSK
— IOTA News (@iotatokennews) August 26, 2018
Volkswagen and Blockchain- A perfect match
In his address, Benjamin Sinram, also spoke about another application of blockchain, Sinram’s team is developing an open ledger to track the supply chain of cars from manufacturer to customer.
Another project is a “charging protocol” for electric vehicles that run on the Ethereum network designed by Energy Web Foundation, which is similar to Iota but focuses on applications of crypto in the energy industry.
Sinram also presented a project focused on documenting the software code that’s embedded in particular vehicles. In the example he gave,
“if there is an accident, blockchain allows us to document and prove the current software version of the car. We have public proof of data integrity.”
Potentially, this kind of technology can provide a response to the company’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, in which Volkswagen has admitted to programming the engines of some models to produce lower than normal emissions when the vehicles were tested.
In June this year, Volkswagen was heard partnering with Lithuania-based company carVertical, who had developed a platform for used car history reports. It was even added to the Volkswagen (VW) Future Mobility Incubator in Dresden. According to representatives, carVertical is considered to be the most successful automotive-based initial coin offering (ICO). The team has reached its goal, having raised almost $20 mln during its ICO campaign in January 2018. The history records app was designed to prevent used car frauds, as stated in the carVertical blog. In the app, a user may find records by car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) located in its technical passport or on a car’s body.
Volkswagen website on blockchain states that Blockchain models cover a number of different approaches, all of which have one thing in common: they are very secure. And Volkswagen group wants to use this security and tamper proof feature of blockchain in various verticals of an automobile company which includes maintenance, logistics and digital applications to specialized solutions such as tamper-proof odometer readings.
With the kind of effort, the blockchain team at Volkswagen is putting in it looks like it’s about to change the way auto industry works.
Will Volkswagen be able to change the way the auto industry works? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.