The Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Company (BMBS) will apply blockchain technology to storing used car data, according to a report yesterday. Startup PlatON developed the platform, which will be made available to Mercedes Global.
Without a single source of truth, navigating the used car market can be difficult. Issues can be hidden by previous owners or dealerships since there is little transparency in the industry. However, buying a used car is cheaper and better for the environment. Up to 35% of a vehicle’s carbon footprint comes from its manufacture.
Here enters blockchain, acting as a trustworthy ledger of car maintenance history. With an immutable store of data, consumers can be given peace of mind in purchasing a used car. Mercedes Benz and PlatON plan to store vehicle data for its entire lifecycle.
PlatON CSO, Ada Xiao, said: “From electric vehicles to driverless cars, emerging technologies have come to rapidly shape the trajectory of innovation in the automotive industry to a model that champions greater security and sustainability.”
Indeed, the idea that more environmentally friendly used and hired cars will become the norm of the future is part of the motivation behind a similar initiative in Singapore. China, too, has a thriving used car market, worth around $1 billion.
She added: “With over 6.5 million used cars in China traded in the first half of the year alone, we hope that our collaboration with BMBS will highlight the need for more sophisticated data collection systems to accurately monitor the value of the vehicles comprising China’s substantial used car market.”
PlatON caught the attention of BMBS after its participation in incubator program Startup Autobahn, which is run by Daimler, the owner of the Mercedes Benz brand.
Last month, Daimler announced its blockchain-based car wallet and previously tested out using tokens as incentives for sustainable driving. The firm’s most recent blockchain project is a pilot for a truck wallet digitizing freight papers and toll payments.
Meanwhile, Mercedes Benz has a high profile supply chain project with Icertis, which also boasts a partnership with Microsoft. Competitor BMW is one of the most active car manufacturers in blockchain, a founding member of the MOBI alliance. The firm has also worked with Daimler on a €1 billion non-blockchain venture.