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Continental to demonstrate blockchain based vehicle data sharing

Continental will use the example of “Connected Parking” at the IAA to demonstrate how the future will see drivers benefit from the transfer of data collected by their vehicles in road traffic. The basis for this is the blockchain-based data-monetisation platform.

The platform was developed as part of a strategic partnership between Continental and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and is based on Crossbar.io technology. “Earn as you ride” enables vehicle manufacturers to reward their customers with virtual coins for sharing information. The aim of this incentive is to give manufacturers easier and legally compliant access to service-relevant customer data. They can use this data to better understand their customers’ needs and optimise their services for them. However, they may also sell it to other service providers on the data trading platform. In this way, all the market participants receive enough data to offer seamless digital services.

“We’ll be using our parking data service to show exactly how our blockchain-based data trading platform can create real added value for drivers and mobility in cities,” said Helmut Matschi, Member of the Executive Board of Continental and Head of the Interior Division. “We fully integrate the driver into the data exchange, creating transparency and higher data availability for everyone involved.”

“Vehicle data is priceless, but its value can only be realised if we share it,” said Volkhard Bregulla, Head of the Manufacturing, Automotive and IoT division at HPE. “Our platform removes obstacles that used to hinder data exchange. Data sovereignty, efficiency and monetary incentives are the keys here. The platform will create a secure and open data ecosystem that generates innovation and growth.” Platform participants can enrich their own digital service offerings and also earn money by selling their data.

“From a global perspective, one supplier alone simply cannot acquire the required coverage and density of data,” explained Jürgen Schweiger, Head of Map & Parking at Continental’s Intelligent Transportation Systems business segment. “So to enhance the quality of specific services, data providers must be able to supplement their own offers with data from other providers – easily and in realtime where possible. Continental and HPE’s platform makes this data sharing possible.”

The decentralised platform approach based on blockchain technology ensures transparency, security and efficiency. All the participants in the distributed ecosystem retain sovereignty over their data and decide for themselves which data they want to share. No data is stored on a central server. The price for a data package is determined by the individual provider. When a transaction has been completed, the data is transferred from backend to backend without intermediate steps – and it’s also available in real time.

This solution is creating a great deal of interest, and not only from automobile manufacturers – telecommunications companies, electronics suppliers, city authorities and even the agricultural community are all impressed by the potential of the platform – because it can also handle other kinds of data efficiently.

The “Earn as you ride” principle enables the volume of data in the backend systems of automobile manufacturers to be increased, boosting data trading and swarm intelligence. Drivers earns credits on the road with the data they generate themselves. The data can only be passed on to third parties if the driver gives his prior consent, to improve a parking service, for instance. Drivers can also choose the specific data they want to share, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The virtual coins collected in this way can then be redeemed by the driver for rewards. The automobile manufacturer decides exactly how data sharing is to be rewarded.

At the IAA, visitors to the Continental booth will experience “Connected Parking” as a tangible example of how data trading works for drivers and car manufacturers – and how both parties benefit from it. The example that will be used is based on Continental’s “On-Street Parking” service, which enables stress-free parking along the road. Continental will launch this service by the end of 2019. The “On-Street Parking” service is supplemented by the globally-available “Off-Street Parking” service for stress-free parking in car parks and on Park+Ride parking spaces.

In the IAA demonstration, the driver will use an app to register for the “Earn as you ride” programme of his car manufacturer. During the subsequent journey, the sensors of his own vehicle detect both free and occupied parking spaces along the road – and also when a vehicle is in the process of parking or moving out from a parking space. The vehicle systems send this data to the automobile manufacturer. At the end of the journey, the driver receives the message that coins have been credited to his virtual wallet for sharing his data. The automobile manufacturer can now pass on this data to a service provider, who can then use it for his own “On-Street Parking” services.

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