BMW is currently testing a blockchain platform to track car mileage in borrowed vehicles through its startup innovation program.
The experiment is being conducted in partnership with DOVU, a blockchain tech startup that has now become one of the only five startups BMW Group (UK) has worked with as a part of their Innovation Lab.
Alex Morris, Head of Product at DOVU, explained that the system that is being developed in partnership with Alphabet, a subsidiary of BMW Group, would help understand just how much activity BMW’s leased vehicles are seeing and the impact of those activities on them.
What we’re doing is we’re essentially trying to build out this circular economy on the DOVU platform. [Drivers] can earn tokens, but down the line they’ll also be able to spend tokens on services – for example, they might be able to get replacement tires or something like that using the Dovu ecosystem. The partner, in this case BMW, defined the categorization of the reward and that’s defined in a smart contract. As long as the parameters are met for the smart contract, they’ll receive tokens.
The auto giant has chosen the parameters for tokens through mileage, as the company is not completely satisfied with the performance of current mileage tracking systems because they provide information that is of little use to the company. The blockchain platform would, however, provide information that the company might actually use in future to improve its services.
Mileage is the deciding factor in the resale value of cars, so when DOVU suggested incentivizing drivers with tokens, they were very, very excited, Morris said.
Max Lomuscio, Community Manager, DOVU, said the proof-of-concept is complete, and now the startup is gearing up for the second phase, where the team is going to try the system with drivers.
According to Morris,
the plan is to become this kind of ubiquitous rewards system that can work across vehicles, make some kind of unified wallet for token rewards that you can use on your BMW, but maybe jump into your second car and earn more tokens and then spend those throughout the ecosystem
Additionally, DOVU looks forward to working with smart city environments and has already had multiple discussions with local governments about how such a system can be incorporated into many aspects of metropolitan areas, such as public transit.