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Accelerating disruption in the automotive market
Blockchain technology will undoubtedly disrupt the automotive industry.
Blockchain technology will undoubtedly disrupt the automotive industry. The question that remains is how exactly? This report evaluates blockchain technology opportunities across the automotive value chain, shedding light on what the automotive industry will look like in the future and how automotive businesses can adapt accordingly.
Blockchain technology can offer many opportunities for the automotive industry to transform products, services and processes. However, even though many executives across the industry are keen to apply blockchain technology to their business, they are unaware of where to start.
The report aims to shape the understanding of the opportunities of blockchain applications in the automotive industry. These opportunities are evaluated across different levels in the value chain so that automotive businesses can develop the most appropriate approach in implementing this new innovation.
Blockchain applications in practice
So how can the blockchain actually add value in the automotive industry? Let us provide you with examples of practical applications that we see being developed:
Electric Vehicle Payment
The first blockchain technology use cases that we see being deployed involve automated payments for electronic vehicles, where both the vehicle and the charge point have a wallet and can make and receive payments. An innovative application that has been tested in the Netherlands by sustainable energy provider Vandebron is not just allowing cars to purchase electricity, but also to be able to sell electric charge back to the network during times of scarcity (such as at night). Thus a blockchain powered electricity marketplace can use the batteries of the electric vehicles to help balance the network.
A more broad application of blockchain technology that we see in the car industry focuses on the supply chain for spare parts. Because these parts are often quite specific and there is potential risk of counterfeiting, a blockchain solution is beneficial to register the handover moments from manufacturer to final installer and all points in between. Putting this info on a trusted, shared ledger not only safeguards the provenance and authenticity of parts but also can give transparency on which part is where at what time, allowing for more efficient planning. Deloitte has developed a generic solution for blockchain based supply chain management called TraceChain.
Extended vehicle ledger
Building on the concept of verified and digitally registered spare parts, the identity and records of the vehicle itself can be registered on the blockchain, with each installation of a (verified) spare part and each other maintenance activity being recorded and timestamped. In that way the history of a (second hand) car can always be independently verified which will greatly improve the ability to assess its current value. A first step towards such a ‘digital vehicle passport’ is being made by several car manufacturers that are building in components to securely register mileage. Another example is the Dutch RDW experimenting with digitizing vehicle registration on the blockchain, beginning with e-bikes.
Ride-sharing and on-demand mobility services
Finally, when the details of a vehicle and its usage are securely registered on a shared ledger like the blockchain, and it can even pay for itself using blockchain enabled charge points, the ultimate use case becomes autonomous vehicles that can change ownership on demand. By using the blockchain as a flexible means to register and transfer ownership (permanently or temporarily in the form of car rental or crowdsharing), it becomes possible to enable mobility as a service (MaaS). The innate (micro)payment capabilities of blockchain networks make it very easy to automatically process payments for vehicle usage as well. Although this scenario is still somewhere in the future, the building blocks for it are already being developed.