General Motors (GM), the American car manufacturer has filed for a blockchain patent for the data management of autonomous vehicles. The U.S. Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) published that application last week on November 29th.
Betting Big on the Blockchain Technology
The patent application notes that GM hops on the blockchain technology for “robust” and “secure” data distribution. Moreover, it talks about the seamless exchange of data between several automated vehicles and other entities like regional authorities, public facilities, and municipalities.
However, autonomous vehicles require “high degrees of integrity” for “temporal event data”. Thus the application stresses the blockchain technology is “desirable” for non-autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.
The patent filing notes,
“The blockchain technology ‘accomplishes [the] feat’ of ‘enabling a distributed consensus of trust where all transactions can be verified in the future by participants of the blockchain exchange without compromising privacy.'”
Using Blockchain Technology to Its Optimum Potential
The GM patent notes that blockchain can turn to be the most efficient information sharing catering to a range of practical needs. Blockchain can find an application in route navigation, refueling services, and availability of charging.
It can also play a crucial role to check the validity of licenses and permits of vehicles operating as “hacks, taxis, or other for-hire services.” Furthermore, it can maintain “balances for […] charges related to tolls, parking, car washes, and access to other fee-based services.”
The patent also advises on the security aspect of implementing blockchain use in autonomous vehicles. It says that it would be beneficial “to implement a blockchain exchange to push only approved, vetted, and secure, location-based information to the occupants of an autonomous vehicle.”
Using Blockchain to Interact With Traffic Management Systems
The patent explains the use of blockchain in autonomous vehicles to seamlessly interact with highway and traffic management systems. It mentions “an online or cloud blockchain ledger for entering and distributing information from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.”
Furthermore, blockchain can also store data related to “behavioral competencies” of the users of autonomous vehicles. The blockchain ledger can also store information related to “vehicle actions, driver behavior, and driver abilities to follow traffic rules.”
In addition to GM, several other automobile giants like Ford, BMW, Audi and Renault are testing the use of blockchain technology. These companies are experimenting for the next transitional shift in the automobile industry towards autonomous vehicles.
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