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Revisit Blockchain: The Car Wallet

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Aug. 7, 2020—Lucy Hakobyan, head of program at the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), spoke with ADAPT about how blockchain technology could support a vehicle identity protocol that would affect how consumers and repairers interact with cars and trucks.

Asked where blockchain-supported technology might first appear for consumers, Hakobyan says that a vehicle wallet system isn’t hard to imagine.

“When you think about having a DLT (distributed ledger technology)-based vehicle identity that's secure and trusted and represents this digital twin of a physical vehicle, you can all of a sudden unlock potential for vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-everything payment with a car wallet,” she says.

That is, the ability for a vehicle to make payments on-the-go. Think of the little unit you place on your dashboard to pay for tolls. But in this case, it could work for anything that wants to tap into the system that needs payment.

Hakobyan says that the potential is there for toll payments, but also more futuristic traffic planning systems like congestion or emissions offset payments. Vehicle-to-infrastructure payments for use become more viable as gas tax proceeds have less impact.

“With a car wallet, a vehicle can pay as it moves on the road, so this will allow the users to pay for infrastructure they utilize,” she says.

Alternatively, Hakobyan says that vehicles could be credited for “green” behavior or be able to monetize an open seat.

The potential for blockchain lies in its open software architecture, allowing all these different parties to converge in the vehicle payment marketplace.

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