The Swabian car manufacturer Porsche has tried Blockchain-based parking in a “proof of concept”.

The Porsche management sees the Blockchain as “the key technology of tomorrow”. In the car she could help with everyday things. The possibilities of locking and unlocking the vehicle via temporary access authorizations granted by the owner were sufficient, as well as the improvement of autonomous driving functions.

Parking tickets and tolls per Blockchain

Also payment transactions can be handled safely with blockchain technology: parking tickets, tolls or the electricity bill after charging an electric car. In terms of parking fees, Porsche is now jointly offering the Dutch specialist Quantoz a prototype. The network for this is based on blockchain technology.

Porsche assumes the role of the gateway. This means that the car manufacturer opens up for service providers who offer their services via the Porsche platform, in this case the uncomplicated billing of parking fees.

This is how it works: The Porsche customer drives his vehicle into a parking garage and identifies himself at the entrance with an RFID card. This transmits the necessary data for identification to the parking garage terminal. At the time of departure, the ID is transmitted again and the parking fee is billed via the virtual wallet, the blockchain wallet. For this purpose, a data block is generated there to document the transaction. This eliminates the passage to the ticket machine and the search for the change.

Transaction “You Owe Me”

“In this case, the parking garage is the sender and the customer is the recipient of a kind of promissory note, which includes the amount and the currency,” explains Matthias Falkenberg from the development team. “In the Blockchain network, these transactions are called ‘You Owe Me’ and will be collected by Porsche at the end of the billing cycle and returned to the provider.”

As a result, new blocks of data would be created in the blockchain, the equivalent value of which a payment service provider, selected by Porsche, debits from the customer account. The corresponding amount for the parking tickets will then be transferred from Porsche to the car park operator.

Martin Hofmann has been a Volkswagen CIO since December 2011. Previously, the doctorate in engineering had been responsible for the group-wide organizational development of the Wolfsburg-based OEM. From 1995 to 2001, Hofmann headed the Digital Supply Chain division at EDS Plano USA, before joining the VW Group in 2001 as Head of Process and Information Management for Group Procurement.

“The advantage is that we can offer our customers services without each of them having to register in advance,” says Falkenberg.

Pay via Porsche

The specific customer data is only known to Porsche – nevertheless, the Blockchain allows the customers to use services of other providers and then to pay via Porsche. Another advantage is that there are no transaction fees for micropayments, because thanks to the documented data blocks no middlemen or service providers have to be involved.

According to its own statements, Porsche is working on further business models based on blockchain techniques; the control over the data is always with the user. On this basis, autonomous driving can be offered in the future with improved functions.

image by Porsche