Recently, Volkswagen applied for a patent that allows vehicles to communicate with each other through a Blockchain-based network, aimed to increase road safety by warning nearby vehicles and alerting the driver about possible collisions.
The system could potentially be used to negotiate actions like merging lanes, overtaking, and a number of other high-risk activities on the road.
An excerpt from the patent said that “In vehicle-to-vehicle communication messages are exchanged between vehicles to enable novel safety-relevant use cases. Most of the currently known use cases provide warnings to alert a driver about an imminent event, such as two vehicles colliding with each other. A natural extension to safety warnings are cooperative manoeuvres, which allow increasing both safety and efficiency of road usage.”
The patent deals with self-driven and manually-driven cars and aims to either display information for a driver to see or simply inform self-driving cars on their next move.
The importance of the patent is the concept of exchanging inter-vehicular messages which are cryptographically signed and serve to create a network of nearby cars in order to better avoid collisions and work with the flow of traffic.
After the messages have been exchanged, the pointer to the last of the messages is signed by each participant and published on the Blockchain.
Volkswagen is the latest major company to apply for a Blockchain patent to enhance their business; Walmart patented a system for accessing medical records on a Blockchain with other patents _ under review _ and MasterCard patented anonymous Blockchain transactions; Samsung, on their part, is seeking Blockchain patents to improve their logistics and operational efficiency.
On March 27, the American automaker Ford presented a patent for vehicle communication based on Blockchain. The proposal is based on an adaptive cruise control, which allows communication between vehicles through the issuance of tokens.
These would be issued to those vehicles that, in order to favor the traffic flow, voluntarily occupy slower lanes of traffic, that is, allowing the access to the main lane on the highway in exchange for granting the tokens to the drivers that optimize the circulation.
Porsche is cooperating with the Berlin-based startup XAIN, testing the benefits of the Blockchain directly in their vehicles. In a statement, Porsche said it is “the first car manufacturer to implement blockchain in their vehicles.”
Here’s what you’ll be able to do with it using just your smartphone: Record traffic data over the Blockchain, in direct communication with other vehicles; lock/unlock your car, way faster and much more secure, thanks to a Blockchain-powered direct offline connection; grant somebody else temporary access to your Porsche; enjoy the unhackable safety of a fully decentralized Blockchain implementation. Porsche also said that this technology could be implemented in the field of autonomous driving in order to improve its safetyness.
German car manufacturer Audi is testing Blockchain technology for its physical and financial distribution processing. In 2017, Audi released a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) of its Blockchain system, after successfully testing the technology based on Hyperledger Fabric. Due to positive feedback, Audi’s management decided to advance the project beyond the PoC stage.
In a recent interview, Alexander Dietmeier, Head of Group Treasury at Audi AD, stated that he believes it likely that Audi will be offering cryptocurrencies as a payment method in the near future.
At the Mobile World Congress 2018, held in Barcelona, Mercedes Benz presented a new eco-friendly-oriented system, by which the user receives rewards in the form of cryptocurrencies. These are granted to the driver as a reward for those who practice good driving habits.
By Antonio Menéndez
Sources: Innovaspain y Xataka