Valeria Vishevataya in BLOCKCHAIN, IT - Information Technology, Technology Community Manager • Altoros Jul 2, 2019 · 2 min read · +600

Porsche Invests in Blockchain Startups to Secure Car Data and Access

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Porsche Invests in Blockchain Startups to Secure Car Data and Access

Examples of blockchain prototypes and implementations involve parking payments, validation of vehicle history, remote car access, and more. 

Protecting vehicle data

Known for its premium and sports cars, Porsche was founded back in 1931. Having 32,300+ employees, it sold 256,255 cars in 2018 alone, generating $25.8 billion in revenue. Today, the company is investing heavily into emerging technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), looking for new solutions that can improve customer experience for car owners and can secure data processing.

Earlier, we covered how blockchain can be applied to the automotive industry across various scenarios—from manufacturing to security to insurance.

As Porsche works with huge volumes of vehicle data, there is a pressing need for the company to have efficient solutions for securing and storing it. Bearing this idea in mind, Porsche is experimenting with blockchain, as well, to ensure such an approach.

Vehicle history on a blockchain

Today, the strategic investment portfolio of Porsche includes over 50 startups. One of them is Gapless, a German company that builds blockchain-based solutions for secure encryption of data records. The startup was founded in September 2018 and is actively growing.

Gapless offers drivers an opportunity to digitally manage all the information about all their cars, including those previously owned. This may include the entire history of vehicles with photos and attached documents for each of their cars. Another useful feature is managing appointments(e.g., with a garage service), getting notifications about these, and storing the history of visits on a personal timeline.

The data is recorded on a blockchain and, therefore, can be automatically verified and trusted by third parties—due to the technology’s immutability.

Gapless is also building an ecosystem of third-party vendors around the product, which opens the doors for its use by car dealers, body shops, insurance companies, etc.

Blockchain-based parking payments

In January 2019, Porsche introduced a blockchain-based prototype for parking payments. The idea of the solution is based on the lack of a single trusted party during the payment process.

The work on the project has been carried out by Tiziana Vicino and Matthias Hub of Porsche’s development team together with Quantoz, a Dutch blockchain specialist, and Matthias Falkenberg, a Munich Area–based consultant. The main goal of the prototype was to make the process of paying a parking fee easier and faster for drivers, ensuring the adoption of a cashless economy across the automotive industry.

The solution was built using the Quasar platform, a blockchain ledger from Quantoz with a compliance layer on top of it. The validation of each transaction there is conducted in accordance with a set of rules to be specified with the Quasar Business Intelligence Center (QuBIC). Owing to QuBIC, users can come up with their own types of wallets (connected to a bank or a service provider or freely created) and add their rules for sending / receiving payments, as well as creating child accounts.

For drivers, the process is triggered via RFID cards identified at the entrance gateways when coming to the parking lot and leaving it. After that, the data is sent to the car park terminal.

The fee is calculated automatically and then paid via a virtual blockchain wallet designated by a user. In such a system, Porsche acts as an intermediary that collects the money from customers and transfers them to the parking authority on behalf of drivers. Here, blockchain ensures the privacy of the transferred data.

“We decided on the Stellar blockchain protocol, which can handle 1,000 transactions per second. This was more than enough to bill for parking tickets in the context of our evaluation of the blockchain technology.” —Matthias Falkenberg

The proof of concept has been implemented within two weeks.