German car manufacturer Daimler AG has teamed up with blockchain firm Riddle & Code to develop a hardware wallet for automobiles, industry website Coindesk has reported. The move is part of a long-term strategy to develop solutions for “self-driving vehicles and car-sharing platforms, relay traffic patterns in real-time, mesh with smart city infrastructure, and transfer accident information to the proper authorities and insurance providers”, the online publication notes.
The wallet appears to be an important part of the Mercedes Benz owner’s plan, as it will give a cryptographic identity to a vehicle. In addition, the wallet can be integrated with the vehicle’s telematic control unit (TCU), which allows it to send and receive data from that vehicle and the surrounding infrastructure. According to Ben Schwarz, head of communications at Riddle & Code, the wallet can be integrated into the hardware of trucks, busses and luxury cars to “make car rental and fleet management more efficient”.
With regards to pricing, the companies have yet to finalise their model, which will be based on hardware costs and would also involve some sort of a licence agreement for fleet owners who deploy the solution. Daimler and Riddle & Code also consider implementing a transaction model.
“However, once vehicles become autonomous parties to a blockchain transactions, the marketplace is boundless,” Schwarz said, as quoted by Coindesk.
Significant disruptive potential
Schwarz believes that the technology’s disruptive potential stems manly from its ability to store and preserve data. He envisions a scenario where in the future insurers and regulators may “mandate these technologies,” to keep automotive data secure.
“Knowing which parameters were active at the time of an accident can help provide a trustworthy solution to understanding its cause,” Riddle & Code said.
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