Parcels delivered to your Porsche
Porsche has revealed that it is currently testing the feasibility of incorporating blockchain applications directly in its vehicles – and one of these applications could include enabling customers to give parcel delivery agents temporary access to their car.
In a statement issued last week, Porsche said that it has been working with Berlin-based start-up XAIN to be “the first automobile manufacturer to implement and successfully test blockchain in a car”.
Blockchain is currently one of the trendiest buzzwords in business media, but most commentators become a little fuzzy when it comes to explaining exactly what blockchain means. Here is Porsche’s take on the technology: “Blockchain is a decentralised protocol for data transactions between business partners… Every change is recorded in chronologically arranged data blocks, making it transparent and tamper-proof.”
Oliver Döring, Financial Strategist at Porsche, then explained why the company believes blockchain could hold “enormous potential” for the car industry and car owners: “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.”
Using blockchain, there will be a clear, unalterable record of when, and to whom, the car owner granted temporary access to the vehicle. Furthermore, blockchain speeds up the process.
According to the Porsche statement: “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.
“Moreover, the technology makes it possible to assign temporary access authorisations for the vehicle – in a secure and efficient manner. A protected connection to vehicle data and functionalities can be established using blockchain. At the same time, it protects all communication between participants. Third-party providers can be integrated without the need for additional hardware, simply by using “smart contracts”. Smart contracts are automated contracts that trigger transactions upon the occurrence of previously defined conditions. This means that compliance with the contract is ensured through technology.”