Mercedes Benz parent company Daimler has partnered with blockchain firm Riddle & Code to produce a hardware wallet for automobiles.
Long term, the business alliance looks to provide 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 wallet, a tamper-resistant piece of hardware that was presented at Startupautobahn in Stuttgart, creates a cryptographic identity for vehicles. It also integrates with the vehicle’s telematic control unit (TCU) to receive, sign, and attest to sensory data from the car and surrounding infrastructure.
This information can be used to record a vehicle’s performance and ensure it received proper maintenance. The wallet can be integrated into the hardware of trucks, luxury cars, and buses “to make car rental and fleet management more efficient,” said Ben Schwarz, Riddle & Code head of communications.
Schwarz said the pricing model hasn’t been finalized, but will be based on hardware costs and involve a license model for fleet owners who deploy the wallet. A transaction-based model is also under discussion.
“However, once vehicles become autonomous parties to a blockchain transactions, the marketplace is boundless,” he added.
Because the wallet syncs a vehicle with its surrounding environment, transactions can be made with any digitally communicative technology including toll booths, parking spaces, and mechanics. However, “the genuinely disruptive new marketplaces will come from data.”
The technology may also one day pay remittances to insurance providers. In fact, Schwarz went as far as saying insurers or regulators may even “mandate these technologies,” to keep automative data secure like an airplane’s blackbox.
“Knowing which parameters were active at the time of an accident can help provide a trustworthy solution to understanding its cause,” the company said.
Photo hardware wallet courtesy of Riddle & Code