Porsche has become the first automobile manufacturer to successfully test and implement blockchain in a car. Convinced that blockchain can improve autonomous driving functions, the Zuffenhausen-based company is mapping out new business models based on the technology.
After developing and testing applications over the past three months, the German automobile manufacturer has introduced blockchain technology into the Porsche Panamera.
The Ethereum-based blockchain applications successfully tested so far include locking and unlocking the vehicle using a decentralized app and temporary access authorizations executed through smart contracts.
According to Porsche, the process of opening and closing the car via a decentralized app takes 1.6 seconds — up to six times faster than before.
“In addition, efficient cryptographic encryption takes place. This process ensures that all activities are documented in the blockchain in a way that prevents them from being modified, and can be viewed using an app.”
Additionally, Porsche is currently working on further applications of blockchain technology in the areas of charging and parking.
According to Oliver Döring, Financial Strategist at Porsche, blockchain technology holds enormous potential:
“We can use blockchain to transfer data more quickly and securely, giving our customers more peace of mind in the future, whether they are charging, parking or need to give a third party, such as a parcel delivery agent, temporary access to the vehicle. We translate the innovative technology into direct benefits for the customer,” Döring said.
In the near future, blockchain applications could be developed to improve autonomous driving functions.
Porsche is already sketching out new business models based on blockchain, with autonomous driving in mind.
“The future of autonomous driving will see improved functions on offer: local data can be used to obtain regional learning effects, which can be shared securely with other vehicles. The customer can make use of swarm data, which is protected at the same time,” the company said.
Several interdisciplinary teams from across Porsche are working to deploy blockchain applications suited for vehicles, in collaboration with XAIN, the Berlin-based startup that won last year’s “Porsche Innovation Contest”.