Autonomous cars are no longer a thing of science fiction and will be arriving sooner than you think as they approach “level 2″ technology. The technology is in its infancy and has many future problems to overcome. Cars will boast deep learning supercomputers, in the form of Nvidia’s flagship architecture Volta. This hardware platform is the perfect foundation for a decentralized travel service. Blockchain’s security and peer-to-peer structure will provide a safe and secure system for self-driving cars to advance to their level 5 autonomous stage.
How will blockchain speed up the transition to level 5 autonomous cars?
Blockchains timestamp feature combined with GPS and statistics from the cars onboard computer will be encoded into the ledger for later analysis. Manufacturers, consumers and application developers will be able to use this data to increase road safety as well as provide updated or new services. The more data manufacturers can collect on traffic patterns and risk assessment, the faster the technology will advance. A decentralized solution offers easier accessibility to trusted data that can be publicly accessible to all autonomous AI developers.
Blockchain will help automate and reshape user services
Oaken has been working on a system for short-term leasing of vehicles. This could drastically change use and ownership of cars. Smart contracts encoded with journey distance and time taken statistics will be used to calculate fees. The cost of travel would then be exchanged in crypto rather than fiat. With customers no longer necessarily requiring standard 12-month insurance plans, we could see usage-based plans emerging. Augmented reality (AR) systems built on blockchain displaying information to the driver will alert them of potential hazards or relay diagnostics, directions and points of interest. Smart contracts will remove the need for interactions to purchase fuel or pay for maintenance, with the receipt of sale cryptographically encoded, saving time and money on transaction fees.
Knock on effects to society
With autonomous cars on the horizon, this will affect society financially and environmentally, while providing a better standard of living and improve infrastructure. Leasing vehicles will cost less, making cars more available to lower earners and provide increased transport in rural areas. Car sharing will reduce pollution, use of raw resources and ease congestion and parking limitations. Your car could earn its own crypto for fuel when stationary. Making use of the Nvidia GPUs to contribute power to mining pools, which would also increase transaction times on the network.
Car crime will become a thing of the past. Vehicles will be opened via a privacy key which associated with owner details in smart contracts. GPS tracking time-stamped into the blockchain with other statistics will make speeding and evading car crime difficult. Driving penalties will be instantly charged to your wallet.
Toyota Research Institute has already instigated startups to explore future application layers of blockchain technology. Enthusiasts are already racing to develop these systems for a not-so-distant future. Hopefully, blockchain will be able to provide the infrastructure in the coming years to develop a safe, secure and economical solution.