Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, plans to explore how the blockchain technology may be applied to the car industry in collaboration MIT’s Media Lab. The company unveiled several projects that aimed to address how software will help people become comfortable with autonomous technologies. That means monitoring and distributing information about the safety of individual vehicles, the way owners use the cars, and cut down on fraud.
Chris Ballinger, Director of mobility services and chief financial officer at Toyota’s research institute, explained that “Hundreds of billions of miles of human driving data may be needed to develop safe and reliable autonomous vehicles. 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”.
The research is focused on sharing data on every trip that an autonomous vehicle takes; on developing tools that users can have to make ride-sharing easier; and to create new insurance products that are usage-based for customers who may prefer that coverage. Additionally, the automaker is also tapping the Los Angeles-based blockchain application developer, Gem to port the applications it has been developing for the healthcare insurance industry to car insurance.