IOTA (MIOTA)–News of IOTA’s partnership with German-based car manufacturing company Volkswagen dates back to January of this year, when then Chief Digital Officer at Volkswagen Johann Jungwirth joined the IOTA Foundation’s Supervisory board.
Last week at the Cebit’18 Expo in Germany, the two companies demonstrated their Proof of Concept (PoC) for integrating Tangle as a desired feature in Volkswagen vehicles.
Volkswagen Using IOTA for Transparency
As apart of the automobile manufacturer’s Connected Car system, Volkswagen will utilize IOTA’s revolutionary Tangle protocol for enabling on-the-go software updates. Decentralized information sharing is highlighted in the PoC, as a way to ensure against tampering with software being delivered to customer vehicles. Volkswagen is counting upon the consensus mechanism of Tangle to guarantee both security and efficiency through its car network program.
Volkswagen’s emphasis on tamper-proof data and a decentralized ecosystem comes in the wake of 2015’s embarrassing and systemic emissions test fraud, when the company was proven guilty of manipulating testing equipment to produce fraudulent results. While partnering with cryptocurrency may not give the immediate image boost the car company is in need of to the average customer, it does provide an avenue for future transparency. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency safeguards against future manipulation, and provides the digital trail of tampering that could have prevented the widespread fraud of 2015.
As outlined in the PoC, Volkswagen is leveraging the partnership to build greater accountability with its user base,
“Core Benefits for Volkswagen. Establish transparency and digital trust with customers, authorities and third parties. Ability to provide an evidence to external parties…Tamper proof & transparent statistical recording.”
While the PoC emphasizes Tangle as a tool for high volume software updates, it also opens the door for potential use with the currency IOTA, including the implementation of smart contracts through Qubic. As ride-sharing becomes a more popular outlet for transportation, and with the advent of autonomously driven vehicles on the horizon, integration with cryptocurrency will pave the way for greater efficiency. Qubic, in particular, allows for the payout of micro-transactions, which will allow riders to pay in real time for distance and time traveled. It also allows for a safe, secure and instant method of transaction to occur without the need for direct interaction with a human driver.
In February, Porsche announced plans to integrate blockchain technology into its lineup of sports cars. Just yesterday, Sprint announced a partnership with blockchain startup NXM Labs to launch its 5G connected car platform. Volkswagen has taken a more direct approach by launching IOTA integration in the early part of next year, utilizing the established currency and functionality of Tangle to provide the immediate benefits of crypto. Because of the open software approach of cryptocurrency, the integration of IOTA on a platform like Volkswagen vehicles provides the development springboard that could lead to greater innovation, in addition to adoption. The possibility for IOTA initiated transactions, such as in payment of tolls or parking decks, is available given the reach of IoT devices and coming wave of smarter vehicles.
IOTA could set the standard for crypto-based, automobile integration if the Volkswagen deals proves beneficial.