June 14, 2018

Automotive Blockchain Part 1: The Digital Glove Box

As vehicle technology evolves it’s inevitable that service needs will as well. Shifts away from traditional mileage or time based servicing will introduce a vastly superior type of maintenance schedule: on demand. There’s only one problem; with everything from specifications and parts to service data and more stored in any number of places at any number of different times, how can the industry make sense of it all?

The first entry in this continuing blog series will discuss how the addition of blockchain technology coupled with the right platform will transform the way vehicle manufacturers, owners, shops, and parts distributors approach vehicle maintenance.

It’s safe the say that most everyone knows where the glovebox is in their vehicle. Far fewer, however, probably use it to store driving gloves. Rather, this spot has been relegated to insurance and registration paperwork, occasionally accompanied by a tire gauge. Granted, some owners have transitioned their insurance documents to a digital pdf stored on their smartphone, but that’s the extent of it. In our digital world, we should be asking more.

The automotive blockchain takes the idea of the traditional glovebox and gives it a 21st century makeover. Everything from an individual vehicles insurance, inspection, and service history to parts purchased, replaced, and those in need of replacement, will all have a unique identifier stored in the blockchain. Perhaps you like your configurable dashboard to look a certain way or have a set of favorite radio settings; all is saved in a secure and transferable data block. When all this data is combined in a singular thread, owners will be able to share preferences, records, and needs to whichever automotive store or repair center they come across. Not only will this speed up service and make for safer roadways, it will provide individuals with a consistent experience regardless of where the road takes them. Forget riffling through paperwork to determine when that timing belt was last changed, the car will do heavy lifting by broadcasting its specifications and needs directly.

Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, at some point or another we’ve all been presented by a blinking vehicle warning light whose specific meaning eluded us. Should this occur, the automotive blockchain will alert your preferred service center for an expert opinion on whether immediate service is necessary or the issue can wait. Furthermore, as you’ve authorized your specific vehicle data to be transmitted to the shop, the parts necessary for the repair will be waiting when you arrive. Should a newer model catch your eye in the showroom, your previous vehicles complete service history will transfer with it when you part ways.

Every mile is different, but with the right technology all of them can be a little bit safer for all of us.

Elliott Schendel

Director, Marketing