18 Jul 18

Smart Mobility in a Blockchain World

This is the third in our series of articles on blockchain, strap yourselves in because here we take a real joy ride into the future.

In its report Blockchain @ Auto Finance – enabling the future of mobility, Deloitte Consulting paints a vivid picture of a blockchain-enabled future mobility world:

It’s 2030. In the western world, direct car ownership has declined radically as sharing solutions dominate the ecosystem. Mobility operators own and manage large fleets of 24/7 connected vehicles that users can easily access through their wearable devices or smart-phones.

For fleet managers in this future, the car has now become an asset on the books that needs to be constantly used to deliver payback. Gone are the acres of corporate car parks spilling over into local side streets. Providing a frictionless experience for users and reducing operating costs are also primary aims. To this end, cars have become self-managing, conducting their own maintenance, handling their own P&L, financing and payments independently.

Increasing transparency, guaranteeing security

Supporting this utopia is a blockchain network enabling all parties concerned to verify relevant information regarding the vehicle, at any time and in an environment that enhances transparency whilst guaranteeing privacy and security. The fleet manager can verify all transactions involving the car and its financing status. The car user can see that previous renters have properly released usage rights without being able to identify any private details about the previous customer (such as who they were or what they did with the car).

Vehicles equipped with payment wallets

Autonomous vehicles are equipped with fully functional mobile payment wallets connected to the wider financial system. This enables the vehicle to bill end customers directly and up-sell additional services such as in-car entertainment, road tolls, on-demand insurance and so on. EVs in the fleet will leverage usage behaviour and optimise recharging. In addition, vehicles know their maintenance frequency and can schedule appointments with service providers, thus reducing downtime and revenue losses.

Blockchain’s impact touches everyone

This is the future. Presently the automotive and captive finance industries are only just scratching the surface of Blockchain’s potential. This is no surprise as the industry is facing an unprecedented raft of changes and challenges right now. Blockchain will have an impact on everyone: OEMs, end-customers, dealers, financiers and anyone involved in mobility services.

The traditional business model of automotive companies, OEMs producing the vehicle and dealerships selling them, is being challenged. In many European countries two thirds of new car sales are going to corporate customers. The relevance of fleet managers (as subsidiaries of banks or independent providers) is increasing, as are autonomous and shared fleets. Automotive companies risk losing customer access to mobility providers and fleet managers. The winners in the race for customer contact will be those companies able to provide a seamless customer experience. Blockchain is the enabler.

Authored by: Alison Pittaway