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Can Blockchain Provide an Overarching Solution for the Auto Industry?

July 16th 2018

“Instead of having all connected cars report back to a single server, blockchain data is distributed amongst all members of the network. Hacking the system would require hacking all vehicles on the network at the same time, a virtually impossible task.” — Jim Milan, Communications Manager of online automotive retailer Auto Accessories Garage.

Blockchain is rapidly intertwining with the auto industry, providing inspiration and hope for solving the many challenges that exist in this sector. A growing number of companies have announced plans to integrate blockchain into their business processes, including Porsche, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen, while industry experts attempt to tackle the latest disruption in the evolution of the world of vehicles.

But what are they trying to solve?

One of the major challenges in the auto industry is a lack of transparency. At this point, vehicle data largely exists in silos. From manufacturing to insurance, repair history, and recalls, companies in the various components of this sector are running systems independently, causing issues with accuracy and an overall difficulty with access to information. As we illustrated in DataArt’s recent proof-of-concept project, Porsche Blockchain Services Ecosystem (Porsche BSE), blockchain carries the potential to manage all data from the entire chain of vehicle goods and services providers, thereby offering the ability to remove confusion and inefficiencies by unifying all players in the complex web of commercial automobiles.

Considering estimates that 10 million self-driving cars will be on our roads by 2020 and that the number of networked cars will increase 30 percent annually over the next five years, the auto industry needs to consolidate its data into a single integrated system now more than ever before. Our Porsche BSE project clearly shows blockchain’s capabilities to solve this problem comprehensively, bringing manufacturing, repairs, recalls, insurance, and gas data together in an elegant manner to ensure accuracy and transparency across every step of the vehicle supply chain.

Of course, the rise of connected and autonomous vehicles raises significant concerns about cybersecurity. Blockchain can provide the solution to this growing burden, guaranteeing a heightened level of data security to greatly decrease the risk of hacking attacks moving forward.

The benefits of connected cars and self-driving vehicles can only be fully realized if the auto industry embraces a blockchain-based solution for managing the multitude of data points in the lifecycle of a vehicle, thereby providing a transparent and safe process for the future of the evolving auto industry landscape.

Written by Igor Ilunin, head of IoT at DataArt.

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