Siemens is exploring carsharing as a prime use case for blockchain technology. With its initiative, the company is joining the ranks of other mobility companies that are using the technology.
Germany’s automobile giants are no strangers to blockchain technology. Daimler has issued a blockchain-based German Schuldschein and even created its own coin. Likewise, Volkswagen has launched multiple blockchain projects and has recently partnered up with IBM to create a blockchain-based supply chain tracking solution for minerals.
Now another German multinational is entering the blockchain and mobility space: Siemens.
While Siemens is not an automobile manufacturer, the company is one of the most prominent players worldwide in the mobility sector. Its separate branch, Siemens Mobility, provides transportation solutions relating to the movement of people and goods worldwide.
Streamlining transactions of a large number of parties involved in carsharing
Siemens is already evaluating blockchain for various enterprise use cases. After a period of trials and exploration, the company is now at the point “where we’re really zoomed into a set of use cases that are related to Siemens’ business,” says Andreas Kind, Siemens’ Corporate Technology Head of Cybersecurity and Blockchain.
One of these focus areas is mobility, and in particular carsharing, says Kind.
“There’s a big transformation happening,” he says. “In the future, there will be many more opportunities around mobility services, rather than simply selling a car, and you see it already in the context of carsharing. People want to go from A to B rather than having a car and moving because it’s just much more convenient sometimes than having your own car.”
A carsharing program involves the individuals sharing the car, the company providing the car, garage owners, insurance companies, payment service providers, and even gas stations that are in collaboration with the company the customer is carsharing through.
All these parties need to interact with each other and conduct transactions. Blockchain can help to streamline these transactions, making them faster, cheaper, and more secure. “Blockchain is really the right technology here,” says Kind.
Mobility in the 21st century is about interconnectivity and flow of data
Today, carsharing is heavily centralized with overly complex service layers that create enormous inefficiencies. Blockchain can create a network that allows people to share vehicle access, on a trusted network that makes use of verified digital identities. All of this could happen in a tokenized marketplace.
Complexity and unnecessary centralization is not only an issue in carsharing but mobility in general, which is why mobility is going to become one of the most prominent blockchain use cases over the next years.
Many companies are already working on blockchain-based mobility applications today. In March we reported about the STO of VMC.AI, which deploys blockchain technology to improve public transportation. We also reported about Toyota, which explores a wide range of use cases from driverless cars to insurance claim processing.
In the 21st century, mobility is not so much about engines and vehicles anymore, but it’s all about connectivity and the seamless flow of data. That involves several parties that “don’t fully trust each other,” says Kind. “That’s exactly where blockchain can add value.”