Blockchain, the technology that makes cryptocurrency like bitcoin possible, is moving into the auto and ridesharing markets.
According to a news report in Reuters, EY, the consulting unit of Ernst & Young Global, announced Wednesday (Aug. 30) it is launching a blockchain system that will let companies and/or individuals 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.
While 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, reported Reuters.
In an interview with Reuters, 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, noted the report.
EY isn’t the only company eyeing blockchain technology. According to the report, 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.
Meanwhile, Reuters noted food and retail companies earlier in August announced they were joining with IBM to look at how blockchain systems could be used to enhance the safety of food, and Microsoft recently said it was using blockchain to reduce the complexity of the technology. Financial services companies and investment firms have been eyeing blockchain for some time as well, noted the report.