Toyota builds up Blockchain abilities
19 March 2020
19 March 2020 Toyota Blockchain Lab is pushing how the automotive industry can benefit from Blockchain. Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Toyota Financial Services Corporation launched a virtual cross-group organisation in April last year and have been running demos to showcase the technology’s usefulness and working in global collaboration with business units within the group. The internet and its connected services have changed how the world works. Information collection and data usage dictates our everyday lives, from online shopping to vehicles analysing our driving styles. But how information is collected and shared is set to change with Blockchain. Offering a more open connection between people and businesses, the technology will enable greater safety and security. Technology explained Blockchain, put simply is a decentralised ledger that records online value transactions. Also known as distributed ledger technology it makes the history of a digital asset unalterable and transparent through decentralisation and cryptography. One analogy is a shared online document, that a group of people can alter. Instead of being copied over and over again, everyone has access to the same material at the same time. All alterations are recorded and observable, so the potential for fraudulent behaviour is, in theory, removed. With the Internet of Things growing to include an increasing number of smart objects, which in turn collect more and more data, there is a real need for their channels of communication to become better secured and less susceptible to interference. But how does this impact the automotive industry? In a video explaining the vision of Blockchain Lab, Toyota highlights that vehicle reliability, vehicle transactions and connection to mobility services stand to benefit from the technology. Blockchain would mean a better connected automotive industry, with suppliers, manufacturers and dealers all working on the same page. Toyota’s take With Toyota now moving toward becoming a ′mobility company’, they are looking to greatly expand their transportation and connectivity services. From supply chains to mobility services, there are many potential applications. Announced in January this year, the ′Woven City‘ could prove to be a real-world testing ground for developing Blockchain capabilities. Working with internal and external groups, the company held customer and vehicle-focused trials last November. One initiative aimed to increase customer convenience through ID sharing and contact digitalisation, improving personal information management. Vehicles saw new and improved services through accumulation and use of vehicle life-cycle information. Supply chain processes were developed to improve efficiency and traceability by recording and sharing information on parts manufacturing and shipping. Toyota Blockchain Lab is set to expand collaborations with its partners to pursue the different possibilities offered by Blockchain and bring forward initiatives for business implementation. This will mean a further examination of potential applications and promoting demonstration trials with relevant businesses. Alongside this, Toyota will work out non-functional evaluation items to accelerate the social implantation of Blockchain and build up the necessary technical knowledge to select suitable platforms for each application.