3 Ways Blockchain Is Changing Car Retailing

3 Ways Blockchain is Changing Car Retailing

by Natalia Marshall — 4 years ago in Blockchain Technology 3 min. read

Introducing tamper-proof digital identities to car retailing and automotive IoT.

3 Ways Blockchain is Changing Car Retailing.

How blockchain technology enables tamper-proof digital identities in car retailing and automotive IoT.

1. How to best approach the lack of traceability in the automotive sector?

From competitive pressures on cost and performance to environmental pitfalls, there is one common challenge faced by the industry at large today — the absence of transparent mechanisms for verifying operational data generated by auto vehicles.

In contrast to siloed, password-based centralized systems, tamper-proof identities on the blockchain offer a path to transparency with secure authentication and authorization for every car that hits the road.

Interoperable and trusted digital identity management solutions aim to resolve this problem through secure management and storage of vehicle-generated operational data that can be applied in car trading and sharing services, automotive IoT, and autonomous driving.

2. Tap hardware modules for traceability in car trading.

The digital revolution is disrupting used-car retailing — for the better. This new wave of digital retailing represents more than technology alone because it focuses a spotlight on the importance of the customer experience in the used-car-buying process. McKinsey & Company.

The second-hand car market is rife with fact-checking concerns — from the lack of mechanisms to check the accuracy of the car’s history of ownership to costly third-party audit reports. 

Case study: A major Japanese auto dealer has been dealing with the exact same problem. The offered solution is a cost-effective bundle of blockchain software and hardware modules. 

Microcontrollers with secure boot are installed to each vehicle’s odometer and accelerometer. This drastically improves the company’s operations in the following senses:

  • Highly accurate vehicle-related data enables analysis capabilities for smart maintenance, scheduled upgrades, and novel subscription services.
  • Complete audit track of all transactions (facts and events) related to this particular vehicle: mileage, ownership, the vehicle’s accident history, and many more.
  • Car buyers can instantly pull up a car history report without involving third-party services such as CarFix, etc.
  • A vehicle ownership token allows current owners to grant access to the audit reports to prospective buyers at no extra cost.
With blockchain-enabled fast enrollment auditing software, both car retailer platforms (such as Carvana and Vroom, among others) and car dealer groups will be able to deliver a smoother customer experience and drive user growth.

3. Not your keys, not your vehicle: cryptographic keys for automotive IoT.

Digital identity is the ultimate “vehicle for success” that must underpin the new mobility. IT Pro Portal.

In a still-nascent industry, most IoT technologies do not incorporate appropriate identity and access management capabilities, not unlike the early Internet which consisted solely of trusted institutions. Consensys: Blockchain in Digital Identity.

While the market prospects for new mobility and autonomous vehicles look quite promising, cyber-security and reliability remain the major roadblocks for wider adoption of automotive IoT.

To tackle this, a bundled hardware plus software solution can establish auditable digital identities for connected cars and AVs to secure authentication and vehicle-generated data.

Blockchain is used here to process the data collected from auto vehicles, while the hardware support ensures data source and invariance.

In doing so, the only access control performed is whether or not the transaction was signed by the correct private key — whoever has access to the private key is the owner.

Case Study: A Silicon Valley-based SaaS startup is building a DLT-based infrastructure with tamper-proof identities to enable Mobility-As-Service for one major automotive OEM. Here are some of the value props offered by their platform:

Reliable connectivity and anti-tampering behavior
  • Vehicles are identified through cryptographic keys that ensure secure communications and data sharing.
  • Cryptographically-enhanced hardware modules with secure boot (SB) process and transmit sensor data to the cloud where it is anchored to the blockchain ledger for further audits. SB ensures that only an entity with the right private key is able to load applications into the microcontroller.
  • Every module has onboard key generation and signature functions to maintain hardware independence, while the application logic to the MCU that completes the disable write access permission in advance to ensure anti-tampering behavior.
Robust security and privacy
  • Mitigates the risks of breaches and private data leaks.
  • Transparency and user ownership of vehicle-generated data: know what data goes where and monitor the data flows.
In the forming digital landscape for car trading, decentralized solutions offer a feasible opportunity to develop new ways of managing risk, controlling costs, and living up to the customer promise for car dealerships and OEMs.
Natalia Marshall

Natalia also includes the characteristics of her log in a fun way so readers will know what to expect from her work.

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