You love your car? It could soon be over. Debt is the blockchain technology. Amongst other things. We tell you what the mobility of the future might look like.
The automobile has made a significant contribution to the development of today’s modern society and our urban living space. But with rising incomes and exploding traffic, the problems become clear: air pollution and particulate matter to health-endangering extent and a permanent, inner-city traffic collapse are only some of the consequences. Every year, around one million people die in traffic accidents. However, global warming as a direct result of our mobility behavior threatens far more lives.
With Blockchain and autonomous fleets into the future
Imagine a world in which the number of vehicles on our roads is reduced by 90 percent , thanks to the FAVES (fleets of autonomous vehicles that are electric and shared). Calling and paying for an autonomous vehicle in this world is not much more complicated than opening a smartphone app . Horrible leasing rates and insurance premiums have fallen to the level of nullity or disappeared altogether, because the price for short-term use of a car is many times lower than the cost of owning a stand-by vehicle.
However, the best are the only moderately traveled roads, which now offer more space for pedestrians and cyclists. The air is cleaner, the global warming (through the CO2 emissions of vehicles) is tamed, commuters enjoy short distances and the rural population in autonomous vehicle fleets, which are crowdfunding a cost-effective mobility alternative to their own car.
This is how our future will look in a few years’ time. This is essentially thanks to two technologies that are currently becoming mainstream: On the one hand, the self-driving car , which finds the fastest route to the destination in real time – just like the next passenger. On the other hand, the blockchain technology , which enables secure transactions without a middleman (for example, banks or car-sharing providers like Uber). The safety standard of this technology will allow car owners to lend or rent their vehicle at conditions chosen by them.
The fees for such a trip could in the future flow directly from the blockchain-based , digital purse of the user to the account of the vehicle owner. Access and identification tokens and P2P transactions will enable easy, secure carsharing. But that’s not all: even tolls, vehicle charging stations or parking lots could be automatically billed or shared in this way.
The identity, insurance and creditworthiness of users will be verifiable at any time thanks to the blockchain technology . Nevertheless, the user himself remains anonymous, his travel information secret and his payment methods protected. These transactions are monitored by smart contracts , which ensure accurate and immediate fulfillment of all regulatory requirements thanks to standardized templates. The tax can also be paid directly to the tax authorities in this type of transaction.
What’s up with Blockchain, Bitcoin and Co.?
Another cryptocurrency based on the blockchain principle. Provides a platform for programmable smart contracts. The “ethers” are regarded by fans as a legitimate successor to the Bitcoins (see also above picture).
Microsoft Azure cloud-built service that allows users to put external data into a blockchain without destroying their security and integrity. As an individualized middleware, cryptlets can also be developed by Azure users themselves – in any programming language – and build the bridge from the blockchain to new business services in the cloud.
Digital money, without coins and bills. Cryptography builds a distributed, secure and decentralized payment system. Does not require banks, but computing power and technical aids such as the blockchain.
A blockchain is a distributed database that maintains an ever-growing list of transaction records. The database is extended chronologically linearly, similar to a chain, at the lower end constantly new elements are added (hence the term “block chain” = “block chain”). If one block is complete, the next one is created. Each block contains a checksum of the previous block.
The blockchain technical model was developed as part of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin – a web-based, decentralized, public accounting system for all Bitcoin transactions ever made.
A globally available decentralized payment system and the name of a digital monetary unit. You do not need a bank to handle Bitcoin payments – everything is done through a peer-to-peer network of computers and the blockchain as the central database.
The open source software validates the entire blockchain and was released in early 2009 by a certain “Satoshi Nakamoto” under the name “Bitcoin”. Bitcoin Core was in C ++ soon to be programmed especially for Windows systems. A little later the porting to GNU / Linux followed. Because the developers are divided, there are now some derivatives of Bitcoin software, including Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Unlimited or Bitcoin Classic.
The “scalable blockchain database” can manage up to one million writes per second, store petabytes of data, and still have a latency of less than a second – all managed in a decentralized manner and with the highest data integrity. The technical basis is blockchain technology.
Financial term for “distributed account management”. Bitcoin is a completely new technical approach to distributing information about specific assignments. There is no longer a classic account managed centrally at a bank, but “account management” is based on a network of communicating systems.
A computer log that can depict or review contracts or provide technical support for negotiating a contract. Could in future replace the written contract.
The startup R3 CEV builds the blockchain-based “Global Fabric for Finance”. With around 50 financial partners, the largest block chain in the world to be developed – a first test run with eleven banks, including Barclays, Credit Suisse, HSBC, UBS and UniCredit has already been successfully completed. R3CEV has entered into a strategic partnership with Microsoft to develop blockchain infrastructure and technology in the Azure Cloud.
A free software with which every user can develop their own blockchain application.
An open source protocol for a payment network – currently under development. P2P payment method and foreign exchange market in one, based on the cryptocurrency “XRP”. However, ripple users are not set to this one currency, but can use any currency – including euros, dollars or yen, for example.
Car sharing business for everyone
The warning signs for the old world order are already thickening, the new world of mobility is taking shape more and more. Many carmakers promise the first fully autonomous vehicles for the mass market from 2020. Some analysts assume that such vehicles could shrink the carmaker’s sales by up to 40 percent. The US-Elektropionier Tesla has announced that it will allow the owners of its vehicles to rent the same to FAVES. At Tesla, it is estimated that the revenue generated could potentially “exceed monthly (leasing) rates.” Other car makers have also recognized the threat to their business model and are already diligently investing in appropriate car-sharing services .
Blockchain technology will enable every car owner to enter the mobility market. Access barriers such as fees for carsharing operators or banks are eliminated. Blockchain-based mobility enables all consumers and providers to participate equally and to live them up to their individual needs – in terms of both terms and price.
Autonomous cars that own themselves
The vehicles themselves could someday become economically independent and make their own decisions (based on algorithms and real-time information). Either to maximize the profit of the owner or to provide mobility services for the benefit of the general public. Over time, more “ownership models” will emerge. About possession and access authorization then decides a token. In the future, an owner would be able to trade his ownership of a car directly like stock – thanks to the blockchain without a middleman . However, some vehicles will remain the property of individuals or companies.
Other vehicles could have multiple owners whose identities and “shares” are detected in real-time and adjusted accordingly. The OEMs will then no longer sell cars through a dealer network, but simply deliver their vehicles in the areas where their use seems economically sensible. A change of ownership will only take place if the cash flow can be optimized. The information about the possession and use of the vehicle are thereby securely and unchangeably secured on the decentralized platform.
If P2P marketplaces have matured and consumers have become accustomed to “unoccupied” mobility, it could also happen that vehicles own themselves – as economically independent units. It is unclear to whom the car makers market their cars in the future: To fleet operators such as Uber, car sharing service provider or directly to Alexa or Siri ? They have previously been asked by a user to organize the transport from A to B.
This future deviates significantly from the business model that driving service providers like Uber are currently pushing. While autonomous vehicles eliminate the cost of a human driver, the blockchain ensures that even Uber (and Co.) is turned off as a middleman, who arranges a vehicle for the customer, pays a transaction fee, and dictates the terms of carriage.
A decentralized mobility platform could become a visible example of the ” zero marginal cost society “. In such a society it is common practice that the owners of goods (house, car, etc.) lend or rent them when they are not needed. The costs for the corresponding service are thus marginalized. Instead of capital and labor, in such a post-capitalist economy, knowledge becomes the basis of wealth, while traditional drivers such as supply, demand, and profit are augmented by collaborative and communal approaches that prioritize the common good, not just the profits of capital owners.
However, with all the possible benefits that such a system would bring, one should not disregard the limitations. These will hit some parts of society particularly hard, especially in the low-wage sector . And the governments will “suffer”: In the US alone threatens an annual potential loss of $ 206 billion, which the auto industry and its suppliers in the form of taxes flushed into the coffers. Ignoring or neglecting these negative consequences will lead to chaos and the resistance of those hardest hit by the short-term changes.
That is why governments, NGOs and companies should now, even before the changes take over us with all their might, come together to develop a concept for the mobility of the future. And to think through and plan the transition to FAVES and a blockchain-based mobility system. The aim should be to balance the costs and benefits of such a model equally and make it available to the public.
The technology industry has long been feverishly working on Blockchain– based standards for future mobility. Now regulators and legislators must decide how to compensate for tax losses and what the liability and insurance conditions should be for FAVES – especially when it comes to “self-owned” vehicles. Government and society will have to work together to mitigate the consequences for those who lose their jobs because of the FAVES.
The benefits are too immense and the risk is too high to afford to repeat the mistakes of the past in technology development in terms of FAVES and decentralized mobility platforms . It is time to work, plan and think together. How we can transform our mobility and our cities to benefit every member of society.