Porsche adopts blockchain technology

In partnership with Berlin-based start-up SAIN, Porsche is currently testing blockchain applications directly on vehicles. Thus, the Zuffenhausen company becomes the first automaker to successfully implement and test blockchain technology in cars. Transactions made with this technology are safe, and at the same time they can be processed faster than ever before.

Approved applications include vehicle locking and unlocking, temporary access authorizations, and new business models based on encrypted data capture. There is even room for further development, e.g. to improve stand-alone operation.

Blockchain technology is a decentralized protocol for data transactions between business partners. It is also the basis of the known Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptoscopes. Each change is recorded in chronologically classified blocks of data, making it transparent and inviolable. This could have tremendous prospects, according to Oliver Döring, Porsche Economic Strategy Executive.

Services developed on the basis of blockchain technology are fast and very secure. The car becomes part of the blockchain environment, as it can create a offline offline, that is, without server mediation. With only 1.6 seconds, the process of unlocking and locking the car through an application completes up to six times faster than in the past.

In addition, efficient encryption is done. This process ensures that all activities are documented in the blockchain environment in a way that does not allow them to be modified while the user can see them in an application. For example, access authorizations can be distributed digitally and safely, while the vehicle owner can monitor them at any time. Access is also controlled remotely.

In addition, this technology may be granted temporary authorizations to access the vehicle in a safe and efficient manner. Using blockchain technology, a secure connection with vehicle data and functions can be created. At the same time, every communication between the participants is protected.

Third party providers can be integrated, without the need for additional equipment, using just “smart contracts”. Smart contracts are automated contracts that trigger transactions when predefined conditions are met. This means that compliance with the contract is ensured through technology. “With this state-of-the-art technology, we also serve our goal of electric mobility by exploiting capabilities ranging from faster, easier and safer validation to the charging station, to the payment process,” says Uwe Michael, vice president of Porsche.

Porsche is also working to develop new business models based on blockchain technology. Through the data log that can be controlled, the data to be processed is locally encrypted in a distributed blockchain.

The user has control over the data, deciding how to use them as appropriate. All activities are documented in the block chain, resulting in any deletion being transparent. Utilizing this technology, improved autonomous driving functions will be offered in the future. Local data may be used to obtain information at a regional level, which can then be safely distributed to other vehicles. The client can utilize these so-called data clusters, which are also protected.

The start-up company HAIN won the first “Porsche Innovation Competition” on blockchain technology last summer, winning over more than 100 other participants in the competition. After the competition, Porsche teams from different sectors collaborated with HAIN for a quarter to develop and test applications.

Blockchain technology was applied to the Porsche Panamera using an energy-efficient “mining” XAIN data process. Porsche, however, is preparing other applications with this technology, especially in the areas of charging and parking.