General Motors: The Future of Navigation Map is Blockchain-Based


As general motors apply for a patent for a blockchain-based navigation map, this holds the potential for better navigation with an eye on utilizing the system in semi-autonomous vehicles. 

In the latest trend of blockchain disruption, it seems the next in line for this disruption is the navigation map system. This comes on the heel of Car giant General Motors (GM) filing for a patent for a new kind of navigation system. The navigation map will be utilizing blockchain to incorporate information from sensors embedded in your vehicle to create a dependable map for autonomous vehicles.

A Blockchain Disruption

What remains to be seen is just how far this latest disruption will go? GM’s reason for towing this line is the difficulty in keeping the dynamics of the current map system without huge expenses. This is indicated in their patent filing that was forwarded on October 1, 2018 and made public on 2 April 2020. Presently, dedicated vehicles are used to maintain most of the navigation maps, which means their reach, is likely restricted to particular parts of the globe.

In view of this GM is proposing distributing the process of maintaining navigation maps to several vehicles instead of dedicated vehicles. These vehicles will, in turn, gather information about their environment using embedded sensors as they move about. In doing so, information gathered is compared using a discrepancy detector that evaluates the present maps all the same.

Any discrepancy noticed is then sent to the blockchain network that stores every map information. The discrepancy is authenticated should other vehicles report something similar. This brings the question of how the network will be maintained. According to the patent filing, the maintenance of the network will be sustained by the vehicles and the mining nodes situated in data centers.

Criticisms of the System

The system is not without inadequacies, for example, it seems the system is tailored towards General Motors’ “Super Cruise Feature” that offers a semi-autonomous driving on a few of their luxury vehicles.

The fact that GM applied for a patent could mean this type of navigation map is not something we should be expecting to see readily used by all kinds of vehicles in the auto industry. The system is also greatly reliant on navigations maps, as such it is only usable on supported routes.

This still doesn’t write off the benefits of the navigation map system proposed by GM. The distribution of the process of generating the navigation map is most likely to hasten the effort of GM to cover most of the routes in the United States.

The ability of several vehicles to participate in the building of a single map through the distribution of the process of map generation is likely why blockchain was used for the navigation map system.

General Motors and the Automobile Industry

In the Automobile industry, GM has been an active player amongst automobile makers involved in the blockchain industry. That bodes well for the blockchain technology adoption in the automobile sector. If car giants such as GM can be actively experimenting with the technology That indicates we could start seeing more blockchain-based automobile applications such as the one above soon.

GM took part in a blockchain-based identification and payment system for automobiles last year in October. The company’s finance section also invested in a blockchain startup in June to work on preventing and mitigating vehicle-financing fraud. In December 2018, the car giant got a patent for yet another communication system that is based on blockchain. The interest of GM in blockchain seems very high and this is good development overall for the blockchain industry.


João is, before anything else, an enthusiastic advocate for the decentralised world as he foresees a better future for human beings through blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Copywriter and content creator are among his professional titles, but his passion for this technology is what defines him better.

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