According to a report by Nikkei Asian Review, five major car manufacturers including BMW, General Motors, Ford, Honda, and Renault will begin field tests next month in the U.S. for a blockchain-based vehicle identification system that would let drivers automatically pay parking fees or highway tolls without using cash or cards. The partnership will cooperate under the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative, an international consortium supporting such projects.
The system will assign digital IDs to individual vehicles, linking together information such as ownership and service histories. This data covering the lifetime of the vehicle would be used to recognize cars on the road, allowing for any road fees to be paid automatically by the owner with no need for the specialized tags required in current electronic toll collection systems.
A similar blockchain-based system is being used for electric vehicles, with tolls, parking fees some maintenance costs and even rest stop snacks being recorded and then paid all at once when the vehicle is plugged in to charge.
The industry is also working on services involving digital currency. It has been reported that Honda and GM have teamed on research into smart grids using blockchain technology. The project outcome may be that electric-vehicle owners will be compensated in digital currency for feeding power in times of an outage.