Safety: Connected cars rely on blockchain technology
Following its successful application on crypto-currencies, decentralized exchanges might be the perfect solution for “connected vehicles”.
Lino Garbellini • Wired
With the advent of the Internet of Things, no connected device is truly safe from security risks. And this, when it comes to increasingly connected vehicles is even more serious as any potential hacker can take possession not only of the motorist’s personal data, but also all information concerning his credit card and even the vehicle itself, just as a classic car thieves would, all through the web.
Car makers have been trying to tackle this issue and now many of them, including high-sounding names such as Porsche, Bmw, Renault and General Motors, seem to have set their sights set on blockchain technology as a “cure-all”. Created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, the system has recently hit the news headlines thanks to crypto-currencies. The protocol used, in fact, decentralizes and distributes on multiple points and servers the encrypted transition, ensuring its security.
Its qualities, ease of application and advantages, however, make it useful in other sectors as well.
If Samsung, Mastercard and Ibm had already thought about it, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (Mobi) consortium, recently formed in Dubai, made the idea look appealing even for some of the most historical names in the automotive industry. Mobi, in fact, aims to coordinate, stimulate and develop research and development activities to use blockchain technology in favour of digital mobility, and it is no coincidence that among its promoters we find Chris Ballinger, former head of Toyota’s research and development centre, and now a part of the Blockchain Consortium.
Dubai itself unveiled its Blockchain Strategy plan in 2016, which, when finalized, would make the city the first "blockchain-powered city" in the world.
But how would it work? For example, opening and closing of the doors via smartphone, would be faster with no security risks. The real turning point, however, concerns customized driver services, from maps to reserving parking spots, not to mention fast-recharging, which could be requested and paid quickly and without risks.
On the other hand, through blockchain technology, car makers would be able to create a database of the various components of a car, ideal for controlling the production process and after-sales services, from spare parts to insurance. At this point, creativity seems to be the only limit and perhaps, the ideal applications of this technology in the automotive sector will address needs of which, at present, we are not even aware of.