Porsche is the first automaker to test blockchain applications in vehicles, thanks to a collaboration with Berlin-based startup XAIN. Testing has included locking/unlocking the vehicle via an app, temporary access authorizations, and new business models based on encrypted data logging.

While blockchain is new to transportation, the decentralized protocol for data transactions between business partners forms the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Every change is recorded in chronologically arranged data blocks, making it transparent and tamper-proof.

The technology holds enormous potential for vehicles that can use it to transfer data more quickly and securely. It could give customers more peace of mind when they are charging or parking their vehicles or they need to give a third party, such as a parcel delivery agent, temporary access to the vehicle. The car becomes part of the blockchain, making a direct offline connection and efficient cryptographic encryption possible. The technology makes it possible to assign temporary vehicle access authorizations in a secure and efficient manner.

Porsche is also working on new business models based on blockchain, including improving future autonomous driving functions. Local data can be used to obtain regional learning effects, with swarm data being shared securely with other vehicles.

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