Blockchain Has Potential in Curbing Odometer Fraud: EU Report

The European Parliament has released a research paper that touts blockchain in the prevention of odometer fraud or "clocking."

AccessTimeIconNov 21, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:11 a.m. UTC
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The European Parliament has released a research paper that explores blockchain, among other technologies, in the prevention of odometer tampering.

The report, issued by the Directorate General for Internal Policies, investigates the possible role of blockchain technology in the use case, concluding that it might "present interesting potentials" for effective prevention of fraud through increased transparency and data privacy.

The report explains:

"The blockchain technology currently proposed by the car engineering and electronics industry would allow downloading mileage and GPS data from vehicles, and securing it on a 'digital logbook'."

The study further suggests that blockchain can be supported by a "connected cars" concept that allows cloud access to all relevant vehicle data in a future scenario involving autonomous vehicles.

Blockchain technology is one among the three approaches identified to address odometer fraud in the paper, including a standardized framework based on international standards (ISO) and equipping a vehicle with hardware security modules (HSMs) to protect data.

The issue of odometer fraud, or "clocking," is one being investigated by other startups in the blockchain space, as well as major enterprises.

In June, CoinDesk reported on a project by startup BigchainDB and German energy company Innogy that aims to create digital identities for vehicles on a blockchain.

To tackle clocking, the CarPass project creates a record of the odometer and vehicle activity with the data visible and verifiable on a digital platform.

"If someone starts tampering with the mileage, you basically see it as a step change in the data that someone tampered with [it]," said Innogy's Carsten Stocker at the time.

Car odometer image via Shutterstock

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