CarBlock: how blockchain could legolize your car

During last months the blockchain theme emerged further. It is attracting the interests of multiple industries and use cases quite heterogeneous are also emerging.
Of course banks are on the forefront in exploring this technology and how it could contribute to bank IT transformation of their back-ends. An interesting report for Citigroup recently pointed out that in any cases both in presence of a success or in presence of an adoption failure of this technology by banks it will be the catalyst of the back-end transformation. My main highlights of this report are here:

In fact, in banking domain, the majority of the transformation effort was quite concentrated on the ‘last mile’, the mile that connects banks with end users but now it is time to renew ways things work on the backyard as well where the B2B dominates.

The pattern I personally use to generate blockchain use cases is quite simple, and it works basically for every industry: if you have a server that intermediates whatever kind of transactions among parties you can rethink it in blockchain terms.
Of course not all kind of servers that mediate transactions could be transformed in fact, there are “practical” inhibitors in some cases in real world
but I it is a good exercise to do  🙂

I was rambling about other possible patterns to generate blockchain use cases and I considered another one: could I transform a complex everyday object into a ‘ block’ of a blockchain? For a complex object I mean an object, a physical object 🙂

So, as I did few weeks ago in speculating how to transform a ‘car’ in a digital object to be hosted into a key in this exercise ( , I did a similar reasoning arguing that we could transform a car into a block of a blockchain! crazy ? 🙂

The idea of “CARBLOCK” is depicted into the picture below.

So, let’s suppose to have all information about a car into a block. I mean the information about its ownership, that could be a private individual or an organization,  information about car tax regime, information about car insurance, information about manufacturer, information about its maintenance, information about car daily needs, like gas or power. Information about streets tools, parking. etc.

The carblock hosts all information above and other things into smart contracts that could know everything about the car and activate contract conditions and decision as appropriate. For example when our  CAR has to pay the tax it can interface the bank account of the owner and pays, when the CAR has to pay the insurance fee or the CAR by checking the contract will act in an appropriate way in case of accidents or anomalous car usage rules. Of course our CAR will decide when, where to stop and how to pay the gas, or the toll of an highway, and so on. Basically, the idea is to condense into the car, and virtually into the CAR block all external knowledge about the car leveraging a smart contract. The CAR will have a very high degree of autonomy: it is like a teenager that needs very little about its parents. 🙂

Given this scenario (excluding the self drive car! To take it simple, and less futuristic 🙂 we can rent our ‘CAR block’ or share it in a quite flexible way with respect current car sharing or renting modalities.

So the car owner could, for instances, transfer the CARblock to its friend and the car will taking account all things, including charging tolls and parking! But we can also think that a sort of UberBlock could decide to buy a number of CARblocks and organize a business around it by matching CARblock owners with CARblock temporary utilizers. Even car manufacturer could produce CARBlock instead of a simple car.

So, the idea is to have a further sharing modality of cars enabled by blockchain, sort of legolization, let me say 🙂


Pietro Leo is an Executive Architect in IBM, CTO for Big Data Analytics in IBM Italy, a well-known Innovation Agitator and Analytics maker. Member of the IBM Academy of Technology Leadership Team.
You can also follow him on Twitter (@pieroleo)

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