Porsche introduces blockchain to cars

Fast and secure transactions thanks to decentralised protocol

In collaboration with the Berlin-based start-up XAIN, Porsche is currently testing blockchain applications directly in vehicles. This makes the Zuffenhausen-based company the first automobile manufacturer to implement and successfully test blockchain in a car. Transactions based on this technology are both secure and can be processed far more quickly than anything that has come before. The applications tested include locking and unlocking the vehicle via an app, temporary access authorisations and new business models based on encrypted data logging. This could be developed further, for example, to improve autonomous driving functions.

Blockchain is a decentralised protocol for data transactions between business partners. It also forms the basis of the well-known cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum. Every change is recorded in chronologically arranged data blocks, making it transparent and tamper-proof. This could hold enormous potential, according to Oliver Döring, Financial Strategist at Porsche: “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.”

The services developed on the foundation of blockchain are fast and very secure. The car becomes part of the blockchain, making a direct offline connection possible – that is, without diversion through a server. Taking 1.6 seconds, the process of opening and closing the car via an app is 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. For example, access authorisations can be distributed digitally and securely and can be monitored by the vehicle owner at any time. Access also works remotely.

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