People are lazy. No, scratch that. Let’s start again! It’s only natural that people would do a lot to make their lives simpler and their daily tasks more convenient. That’s why we’re working hard so that in the years to come everything is connected and automated.
The future will be driverless, that’s for sure. But how will such cars be able to use services such as toll routes, paid parking lots or charging stations without someone to pay for it? ZF, a German car parts maker, know the solution to this issue.
They’ve created Car eWallet, which integrates mobility services, vehicles and infrastructure. In short, it’s a blockchain-based platform that allows the car to process transactions autonomously and in real-time. No more looking for the parking meter or stopping at the toll booth. Car eWallet will do that for you!
Thanks to being based on blockchain technology, Car eWallet guarantees low transaction costs, no risk and full security. What’s more, it provides an opportunity to provide services based on one transaction system. It’s especially useful since each new technology seems to require its users to manage plenty of different accounts at the same time. Car eWallet is trying to build a comprehensive mobility service ecosystem that really makes its users’ life much easier. It also creates opportunities for new insurance models.
ZF first presented the Car eWallet service in January 2017 at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. What started as a small side project turned out to be enormous! That’s why ZF is now setting up a separate startup to develop and commercialise it. Why did they decide not to develop Car eWallet within a corporate structure? Well, the startup scene is much agiler and innovative approaches can be developed much more freely and quickly.
“We will maintain the technological connection to ZF and its product portfolio and at the same time, open up Car eWallet to many other users from the entire mobility industry as well as financial service providers,” said Alexander Graf, one of the original inventors of Car eWallet, currently the leader of the project. In the initial financing phase the start-up will receive seed capital from ZF; later on, they will look for investors.
This spring, ZF concluded a six-month-long project phase collaboration with IBM and UBS. The first pilot projects of Car eWallet are expected to be launched as early as the Q3 2018.
Car eWallet is a logical and much-needed step toward providing seamless vehicle services. We will certainly see more of it in the very near future!