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IBM Partners with Car Manufacturer and Investment Bank on Automotive Payments Blockchain

Tech giant IBM has emerged as one of the leading development partners for blockchain technologies, working with companies across a number of industries to develop proofs-of-concept models for blockchain use cases.

According to reports this week, the company has now teamed up with investment bank UBS and German car manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen to develop a blockchain-based payment model for use across the automotive sector.

The collaboration was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, and will look at ways of utilizing blockchain technology in handling automatic in-car payments, as well as moving to becoming a digital operator for the vehicles of tomorrow.

Dubbed Car eWallet, the collaboration will allow drivers to benefit from automatic functions such as opening doors or accessing the trunk, as well as facilitating payments automatically, including on the move.

“Car eWallet is an innovative, digital assistant in the car that allows secure and convenient payments even on the go. Moreover, it can also perform other tasks, like opening the trunk or doors.”

According to early descriptions of the project, the reliance on blockchain technology means there is no need for a centralized command hub, instead allowing for a “reliable and unchangeable data record” to be recorded on the distributed ledger.

The in-car system was originally announced back in January, with ZF Friedrichshafen initially suggesting it could be used to help facilitate car charging for electric vehicles, as well as allowing for easier car-sharing systems, and even secure package delivery, with packages able to be dropped and secured within the car’s trunk.

IBM is set to develop the technology on their existing blockchain protocols, with a view to delivering the functionality promised in early announcements about the platform.

Additionally, the secure blockchain system will be able to provide drivers with real-time information about their vehicles, as well as facilitating immediate and automatic transactions through the eWallet service.

The project is only the latest venture into the world of blockchain for the automotive industry, which is fast emerging as a significant beneficiary of the technology.

Earlier this year, major auto manufacturer Toyota joined the fray in announcing they were developing their own blockchain solution for fraud prevention and security, joining other manufacturers in exploring the potential for their industry in blockchain use cases.

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