With blockchain technology gaining increased attention from an ever-expanding array of industries, it was only a matter of time until the auto industry began to take serious notice too. Toyota Research Institute’s announcement at Consensus 2017 yesterday revealed that Toyota is serious about exploring the technology as it seeks to develop the vehicles of the future.
TRI has reportedly been collaborating with MIT Media Labs, researching ways to use distributed ledger technology in data transfers, the development of autonomous systems, and other cutting-edge applications. In addition to Media Labs, the company has also formed partnerships with firms like Oaken Innovations, Gem, Commuterz, and BigchainDB to research the technology’s potential benefits for the automotive industry in areas like payments, carpooling, and more.
According to TRI CFO Chris Ballinger, the industry will need to develop a reliable way to manage massive amounts of data before truly safe autonomous vehicles can ever be developed:
“Blockchains and distributed ledgers may enable pooling data from vehicle owners, fleet managers, and manufacturers to shorten the time for reaching this goal, thereby bringing forward the safety, efficiency and convenience benefits of autonomous driving technology.”