A group of automakers including GM and BMW will be testing blockchain payments.
Asian news outlet Nikkei first reported the announcement. Nikkei writes, in part:
“The group sees the blockchain-based system being used for connected electric autos, with expenditures such as tolls, maintenance and even rest stop snacks being recorded and then paid all at once when the vehicle is plugged in to charge.”
"Five major automakers… begin field tests next month in the U.S. for a #blockchain-based #vehicle identification system that would let drivers automatically pay parking fees or highway tolls without using cash or cards." https://t.co/d7r82ZxA8x
— ESRA (@esignrecords) October 14, 2019
According to official sources, five companies in the MOBI (Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative) all are on-board with using blockchain technology for payments. These companies are BMW, General Motors, Honda, Ford and Renault.
Blockchain Auto: Coming to a Highway Near You
MOBI members sign on to do a number of things. Introducing automatic payments between manufacturers and suppliers is just the latest commitment.
The automakers also reportedly agree to such things as eventually storing vehicle data on the blockchain.
The global auto industry is fast becoming one of the leaders in blockchain adoption.
Recently, as BSN reported, Mercedes parent Daimler AG used blockchain technology provided by R3 to facilitate payments.
Daimler is not involved with this project, but there’s nothing to say they couldn’t join on as part of their existing blockchain efforts.
The Balkanization of the Blockchain Auto Industry
Yet, today’s announcement is very similar to Daimler’s recent news.
The two projects could be in competition with each other.
While Daimler and some other companies have already signed on to use Maco Polo and other initiatives offered by R3, MOBI seems to have left its options open so far. Could the auto industry potentially produce its own blockchain solution?
It wouldn’t be the first time a blockchain target company went ahead and created its own version of the technology. See JP Morgan and its “coin” for the best example of that.
Generally, the blockchain industry as a whole is quite “siloed,” meaning that multiple efforts for the same end work separately from each other. This either means the industry will take a long time to expand, or it means there’s plenty of room for incoming participants.
Wherever you stand, it seems there are an increasing number of non-financial blockchain use cases that are coming to fruition.