German car manufacturer BMW is exploring the use of blockchain in numerous applications, including mobility services, supply chain and customer services.
Speaking at the VeChain Summit 2019 in April, Cihan Albay, leader at BMW Group Asia’s IT Tech Office in Singapore, shared his firm’s ongoing digital initiatives, notably in the area of blockchain.
He shares that his team has been hard at work in developing the VerifyCar app with blockchain startup VeChain. VerifyCar provides each vehicle with a “digital passport,” allowing customers to verify the odometer and maintenance history of a vehicle.
All the data related a vehicle is stored on the BMW Digital Ledger, which was built using the VeChainThor blockchain. By storing all the data on a single immutable ledger, each party can get access to information about the vehicle they can trust.
Albay said the solution aims to address odometer fraud. In Germany, 33% of secondhand cards have manipulated odometers, resulting in a total damage of around 6 billion EUR yearly.
With a successful trial, BMW is now looking at how to roll it out commercially.
Other areas BMW is currently adopting blockchain include mobility services where solutions such as DriveNow, BMW’s carsharing service, and ParkNow, an app that allow drivers to find and book parking spots in advance, can implement the technology to allow users to share cars more efficiently and transparently, Albay said.
The firm is also using blockchain in supply chain for part traceability and document management, as well as consumer products including financial services and loyalty programs, he said.
BMW Group Asia recently became a corporate partner of the Singapore government-supported blockchain accelerator Tribe. The firm has committed to provide “masterclasses” and mentoring sessions on how blockchain solutions can be implemented in a mass market situation.