The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has announced that it is exploring blockchain technology for use in the development of a new mobility ecosystem that could accelerate development of autonomous driving technology.
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“Hundreds of billions of miles of human driving data may be needed to develop safe and reliable autonomous vehicles,” said Chris Ballinger, director of mobility services and chief financial officer at TRI. “Blockchains and distributed ledgers may enable pooling data from vehicle owners, fleet managers, and manufacturers to shorten the time for reaching this goal, thereby bringing forward the safety, efficiency and convenience benefits of autonomous driving technology.”
Also collaborating on this initiative are: MIT Media Lab; Berlin-based BigchainDB, which is building the data exchange for sharing driving and autonomous vehicle testing data; Oaken Innovations, based in Dallas and Toronto, which is developing an application for P2P car sharing, vehicle access and payments with a newly created mobility token; Commuterz, a startup from Israel, working with TRI on a P2P carpooling solution; Gem, from Los Angeles, working with Toyota Insurance Management Solutions (TIMS), Toyota’s joint venture telematics car insurance company; and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services, which is developing the usage-based insurance platform.
“I’m excited Toyota is spearheading this initiative that uses blockchain technology to create an open platform where users can control their driving data,” said Neha Narula, Director, Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. “Our hope is that other industry stakeholders will join this effort to bring safe and reliable autonomous vehicles one step closer to reality.”
TRI is also working with Toyota Financial Services in the United States for development of related financial tools.