Since 2010, when Satoshi Nakamoto launched the Bitcoin white paper, we have been seeing constant innovation related to the blockchain and there are many projects that try to solve real problems for many industries. I would like to talk to you about one of the most recent partnerships in the automotive industry that is expected to produce very relevant solutions for all the drivers and automotive companies around the world.
Late last month, semiconductor giant Infineon and blockchain startup XAIN signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will boost their development of automotive blockchain innovations and make the concept of a blockchain connected car a reality.
Infineon and XAIN
These two companies are well known for being in the frontline of technological innovation and this partnership reinforces their desire to remain an innovation driving force. On one hand, Infineon, which reported last year profits of over 1.2 billion euros, focuses on the production of microelectronics for a wide range of industries. On the other hand, there is XAIN, that started as a school project in Oxford four years ago, but rapidly grew to become a respected actor in the delivery of digital infrastructure solutions in the mobility sector. The startup is now known to have partnered with big names like Daimler, Porsche and SAP in trying to automatically grant access rights (e.g. car sharing) to machines and devices installed in a vehicle.
Blockchain Connected Car
With this partnership both companies are proposing to make cars “fully-fledged network participants”, allowing them to even perform blockchain actions such as hashing and transaction signing, which is already possible with the latest generation of microcontrollers from Infineon.
Cybersecurity is also a top priority for both companies and blockchain was the chosen method to tackle this. As the future seems to be immersed in data, it is imperative to protect data of car owners in a way that they can have full control of it. In the long term, blockchain will make it possible to also store the machine learning data in a decentralized manner.
Work is in progress and the companies already demoed their solution at the Infineon Automotive Cybersecurity Forum in Munich on the day of the deal signature. With the demo, it is already possible to see how “access rights can be granted decentrally, swiftly and securely by means of a smartphone app”. This will allow in the future any car owner to easily give permission to different users and even limiting some of the car features, making it also possible to give conditional permission, meaning that someone might be able to drive the car only if under a specific speed limit, for example.
It is important that we see the bigger picture here: this partnership might transform how companies manage access rights in the automotive space, both to the car and its data. With a blockchain connected car, not only could we allow someone to drive our car under predefined conditions but we could also grant access to the car’s data to third parties like insurance companies (in order to show our driving statistics and obtain lower rates) and even the car manufacturers (to help with the development of future cars). Full control of our own things has never felt so close as now!