When Bitcoin made its debut in 2009, few people thought that the technology behind it could change the world, but in ever increasing numbers, this is how researchers are seeing blockchain. The latest is automotive multinational Wanxiang, who have announced their new smart cities initiative will utilize blockchain at its core. With the current focus on their existing business, the ways in which blockchain can be used to streamline the management of electric vehicle servicing demonstrates the versatility and importance being placed on the technology.
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Blockchain technology is increasingly being utilized for so many disparate aspects of the world around us, we could be forgiven at times for thinking that it is taking over. From the financial industry to insurance, the art world to clothing, in every industry research into the application of blockchain technology is being carried out.
It is perhaps not surprising that blockchain is also at the forefront of attempts to shape the technological future of our world, and this is something Chinese automotive giant Wanxiang have agreed with. Announcing an ambitious, and bold, smart cities initiative, Wanxiang placed blockchain at the heart of the development and key to both the smart city idea as well as future development for their core auto industry as well. Noting the advances in electric vehicle technology, Wanxiang recently bought US electric vehicle manufacturer Karma, the application of blockchain to improve the user experience and management of these vehicles is key to enabling wider adoption.
Indeed, the company discussed the amalgam of the two, how fleets of these electric cars will interact with the smart city environment as part of the internet of things ideal, to create more efficient operations and easier management.
The initial example used when describing how blockchain can benefit vehicle manufacturing was in reference to the battery systems, something that is at the core of any successful innovation in electric power. Keeping track of batteries is essential in a business model where the manufacturer retains ownership of the battery module to reduce the upfront cost of the electric vehicle, and a blockchain system would, they say, improve the current system. Not only could it provide a more accurate condition report, but also verifiable identification of individual battery units to ensure that ownership can be easily determined.
This embracing of blockchain technology is crucial for the broader cryptocurrency industry, indeed, if the vision of smart cities built upon blockchain technology becomes reality, then the industry will find itself involved in every aspect of daily life, from bill paying to transport, energy supplies to communication, all will have blockchain at their core.