Blockchain is a term that has become increasingly familiar in recent times. Its most notable qualities are immutability, transaction speed, and resistance to tampering. Toyota has been a part of the R3 consortium since June of 2016. Their latest project is putting all of their self-driving vehicles on the blockchain.
With vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication becoming increasingly available, and self-driving car technology such as the Nvidia Xavier Supercomputer-on-a-Chip (SoC) approaching production feasibility, it looks increasingly promising that cars will be able to process all of their information internally and publish it to a network consisting of the vehicles around them.
Why is this advance significant?
Self-driving cars are becoming an increased necessity with the rate of automotive related fatalities in occurrence today. Self-driving cars also open the door to higher efficiency vehicles that can operate on roads at optimal levels of fuel usage. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, self-driving cars can help remove traffic from busy roads and reduce or eliminate rush hour, stop and go traffic in larger cities.
How can cars on the blockchain change society?
Self-driving cars can help reduce traffic, further enable ridesharing, and reduce the rate of automotive fatalities around the globe. In addition to reducing time spent in traffic, self-driving cars can enable driving time to be spent on productive tasks, such as social media management, checking email, or relaxing.
What does this combination mean for the future?
Self-driving vehicles will help reduce fuel costs, time spent to perform a given task, and improve the length of time people have to spend on things that they want to enjoy. How does a car that drives itself give me more time for things I want to do? By reducing the amount of time you are in the car, reducing your travel related costs, and additionally letting you spend the time you are in the car doing things you have to do so they don’t have to be done later.
How does blockchain technology impact this?
Similarly to how red lights work together with timers and pressure sensors, incorporating an internet of everything blockchain into cities will allow for red lights and vehicles to know when they are going to change. Blockchain enabled cars can be connected to smart cities which are built upon a blockchain so that traffic can be managed and resource spending can be optimized accordingly.
Beyond red lights, blockchain enabled vehicles that communicate can announce their intent to the network and help prevent cars from colliding by knowing the intent of vehicles that surround them.
Blockchain technology helps to increase efficiency in many parts of business and society. When such a technology is combined with advancements in component miniaturization that allow for a unit equivalent to 150 Macbook Pros in the trunk of a vehicle for driving automation and 5G technology under research to increase communication efficiency, a picture of futuristic cities with minimal to no vehicle-related accidents and highly efficient transportation emerges.
Blockchain in vehicles is laying the foundation for a highly efficient and productive society which makes use of technology in virtually every aspect of life.