Porsche: Driving Change
Last week, Porsche announced a contest calling for blockchain solutions from the start-up community. Prizes include the chance to work with the luxury car manufacturer, EUR 25,000 in prize money, three-month participation at the “SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator” program, and media attention. According to the release, “Porsche aims to obtain external input on the disruptive potential of the blockchain transaction system by collaborating with the start-up scene.”
Porsche’s interest in blockchain technology shouldn’t be surprising. Over the past year, the automaker has collaborated with a number of tech companies to add various technologies to its vehicles, such as wirelessly connected vehicles, real-time notification systems, and luxury services. The integration of blockchain tech to its vehicles and its systems would provide several benefits, including security, pay-on-the-go features for electric/hybrid vehicles, and data management.
Blockchain technology would provide security and the extra protection the car manufacturer would need in order to protect its new web-based infrastructure. With a decentralized network, hacking and other misconduct is difficult. Given this security features, tech experts have adopted blockchain technology to strengthen the Internet-of-Things ecosystem.
Hybrid/Electric Vehicles (HEV)
Blockchain technology is also prevalent in the hybrid/electric vehicle market. In January 2017, German-based energy company, Innogy, along with ZF and UBS, demonstrated an eWallet for electric cars. The car eWallet uses blockchain technology to autonomously pay for highway tolls, electric charging, and parking fees. Plans for charging infrastructure are not too far off from the near future. Although Porsche doesn’t have a large stake in the HEV community, a few of its vehicles (Panamera, Cayenne, and 918) do offer hybrid alternatives.
Customer Relation Management (CRM)
As the need increases for more accountability and transparency within the automotive industry, so does the demand for CRM databases. A robust CRM system could assist with exclusive luxury services by maintaining identifiable information such as service records, miles, accident records, and ownership records. In recent news, German-based multinational engineering and electronics firm Bosch announced a blockchain solution for odometer fraud.
Start-ups and blockchain solution founders are all eligible for the contest. However, Porsche does state: “The central question is to what extent the application of this technology in the value creation chain of the company makes sense.” Interested participants have until May 15, 2017 to apply via the F6S Platform.