It has often been said that Hollywood usually precedes reality when it comes to predicting the future. We have seen countless movies predict the landings on Mars and space travel; we have been warned on the dangers of artificial intelligence in the Terminator series of movies; and we have also seen autonomous vehicles in famous blockbusters such as Minority Report and I Am Robot.
GM’s New Patent Application Showcases Blockchain as a Solution for Autonomous Vehicles
It is with this background and recent developments in blockchain technology that the American giant car maker of General Motors, has filed a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office, that shows the possibility of using a blockchain database for data exchange between vehicles and entities.
The patent application by GM Global Technology Operations LLC (Detroit, Michigan), is available online and explains as follows how blockchain can be used to distribute event information relevant to the decision making of autonomous vehicles.
Blockchain technology while associated with use in the financial sector has applicability to the non-financial sector and in this case, for use with autonomous and non-autonomous vehicle technologies..
[The] method and system [uses] blockchains for distributing event information related to vehicle operation between a plurality of entities.
The method includes executing blockchain agreements between the plurality of entities participating in a blockchain exchange for distributing event information related to the vehicle operation, where the blockchain exchange includes a plurality of databases having blockchains of data blocks for storing the event information.
A Brief History of Self Driving Cars
With the the continual technical advancements evident in the accuracy of GPS (Global Positioning Systems), we have seen numerous car manufacturing companies, private research institutions/companies, universities and even individuals attempt to solve the question that is safe and accurate autonomous vehicles.
Back in May, we saw MIT reveal a self-driving car that relies solely on GPS and sensor data. In the case of the Tesla brand of electric vehicles, they have a ‘summon’ feature that allow owners to call on their vehicle using their phones, but for short distances. Google has also been working on self driving vehicles through Waymo. Apple is also working on its own version of a self driving car. Ford has also collaborated with Domino’s to have pizzas delivered by self driving cars.
Looking at blockchain projects, we have seen IOTA partnering with Porsche through the German Startup, Autobahn. The partnership is meant to explore the future of smart and autonomous vehicles.
What are your thoughts on GM’s new patent application that cites the usage of a blockchain database to distribute information between autonomous vehicles? Please let us know in the comments section below.
[Image courtesy of Pys.org]