Auto News

Renault tests blockchain to ensure cars comply with regulations


Yesterday Renault announced it completed testing a blockchain project, XCEED, that shares compliance information between parts suppliers and car manufacturers.

We think of compliance with banking, but what’s the big deal with the auto sector? This partly relates to new European ‘market surveillance’ rules that came into force on September 1st, which were largely in response to the VW Dieselgate scandal. That’s where the onboard computers on VW diesel cars would switch to a cleaner mode when it detected a test was being run. The rest of the time, the diesel cars significantly exceeded permitted nitrogen-oxide emissions by as much as 40 times.

The XCEED project was launched in 2019 and is a collaboration between several auto industry partners, including Continental, Faurecia, Plastic Omnium and Saint-Gobain. Each party retains control over its data and confidentiality but can share the information on a need to know basis.

The system enables the parties to track and certify compliance of both components and subcomponents, and data is shared in real-time. So far, it has accumulated more than a million documents and reached a speed of 500 transactions per second. The solution uses Hyperledger Fabric and was built with help from IBM.

Apart from XCEED, Renault was a founding member of the MOBI alliance, which launched more than two years ago. Alongside Ford, it was also co-leader of the MOBI Vehicle Identity (VID) standard working group. Assigning a VID to a car enables numerous use cases, from tracking a car’s lifecycle to electric charging and mobility solutions involving autonomous cars.