Major German multi-national firm behind the Mercedes-Benz brand, Damler, has recently partnered with a distributed ledger technlogy provider to develop autonomous car technology.

The partnership was announced via a press release on July 22, with Austrian-based blockchain technology provider Riddle & Code stating that its hardware wallet is powering “a Daimler Financial Services-led consortium to provide an open car wallet solution.”

Tom Fürstner, the chief technology officer of Riddle & Code, stated: 

Autonomous cars must behave consistently to be trusted. Cars are already computing devices. A secure identity ensures that the right authorities have approved code executed inside vehicles and the trustworthiness of data exchanged. Riddle & Code secures this with its cryptographic hardware and uses ledgers to turn automobiles into future market places.

The company asserts that car wallets will enable a number of utilities, including the real-time exchange of data between vehicles and smart-city environments,  and the operation of autonomous vehicles.

The announcement followed Daimler’s successful conclusion of the sixth round of its Start-Up Autobahn program in Stuttgart which focussed on the top of “the future of mobility.” Daimler is now in the process of launching its seventh round, which will focus on sustainability.

Automotive Companies Increasing Pivots Toward Blockchain

Alexander Koppel, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Riddle & Code, described the partnership as “a prime example of a global market leader betting on European industry collaboration and DLT-based innovation,” adding that “A new generation of open mobility services will create new business models.”

As part of the consortium, Riddle & Code will provide technology supporting “vehicle identity,” “trusted data provenance,” and “a settlement layer.”

During February 2019, Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG, announced that it had partnered with United States-based software company Icertis to develop a “blockchain-prototype for sustainable supply chains.”

At the time, Mercedes-Benz representative, Wilko Stark, stated: 

Blockchain technology has the potential to fundamentally revolutionize our procurement processes, and could affect nearly the entire value chain. Global supply chains are becoming increasingly complex. With our Blockchain-prototype, we are in the first step testing […] diverse possible applications with the aim of increasing transparency beyond our direct suppliers.

Daimler, who owns or holds shares in Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG, and Mitsubishi Fuso, has been a member of Hyperledger since 2017. During the same year, Daimler AG and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg jointly used blockchain technology to conduct a financial transaction.