Chen Weixing, Founder of Chinese ride-hailing app Kuaidi Dache and CEO of app developer Funcity, is gearing up to create a ridesharing service using blockchain technology. According to a report in CoinDesk, the new platform — announced over the weekend — will be developed along with Yang Jun, Co-founder of Meituan, one of the largest discount apps in China.
“Ride hailing is the first time blockchain will be tested on a social application on mass scale,” Weizing said, according to CoinDesk. The executive didn’t say which platform the service will be built on, but the idea is to rise above the blockchain scalability issues that currently plague the industry.
Kuaidi Dache isn’t the only one eyeing blockchain for ridesharing. Last August, according to a report in Reuters, EY — the consulting unit of Ernst & Young Global — launched a blockchain system that will allow companies and/or individuals to share vehicle ownership more easily. EY said the system, dubbed “Tesseract,” will launch in the next quarter with a partner the firm did not disclose.
Though car- and ridesharing has been all the rage for a while now, what is new is using blockchain technology to facilitate it. With EY’s Tesseract platform, users will be able to record the ownership of the vehicle, log how often and when it is used, and figure out insurance quotes among other things. EY partner John Simlett said blockchain can also be used to share ownership of big fleets of cars and trucks, such as vehicles that are parked in an apartment building but aren’t being used. The idea would be that customers can access the cars via a smartphone app.
Other companies are also looking to blockchain technology. This past May, Toyota Research Institute announced it would work with MIT researchers and technology partners to create blockchain applications. Toyota also announced it was working with its partners to create usage-based insurance via blockchain.