It was already known that Volkswagen will be appearing together with IOTA at CEBIT. A perfect time to announce a cooperation. But not only the IOTA technology has aroused the interest of Volkswagen, Ethereum Smart Contracs are used in the German carmaker.
On June 9, Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer at Volkswagen and member of the Supervisory Board at IOTA, tweeted about their joint appearance at the CEBIT in Hanover.
Volkswagen, together with @iotatoken will show at #cebit18 a proof of concept how the trusted transfer of software over-the-air to vehicles can be securely documented using the #tangle. Great example how distributed ledger technology can be used in the future pic.twitter.com/4wuc7pdKfv
— Johann Jungwirth (@JohannJungwirth) 9. Juni 2018
As a result, many expected to announce a partnership between IOTA and Volkswagen. That the two parties work together is an open secret. But what is being worked on and when a product comes on the market, has not yet been disclosed.
IOTA technology to combat tacho manipulation
At the CEBIT it became concrete. Representatives of the Volkswagen Group were on stage with Dominik Schiener to talk about the future of mobility.
After about 20 minutes, host Tijen Onaran finally asked the question Dominik Schiener did not really want to answer and passed it on to Nicolai Bartkowiak (Blockchain Developer at Volkswagen): “When do we finally see a real prototype of IOTA’s Use Case?”
Bartkowiak then got to the point. He said:
“So we are working together on a project where we are using IOTA technology at Volkswagen. The point here is that we’re trying to attack tacho manipulation […] Two things are missing to successfully combat tacho manipulation; that is transparency and immutability. And these two points are precisely delivered by the technology. With immutability, you can store these same mileage over the life cycle of the vehicle unchangeable in this Tangle […] and thereby creates confidence in the data.“
However, Bartkowiak did not want to reveal at the time when the new tacho-tampering technology was ready for the market.
Easier billing thanks to Smart Contracts
Following Bartkowiak’s explanation, Fabian Freiter (Product Owner at Volkswagen Financial Services AG) took the floor and provided a timetable for the first introduction of possible products based on blockchain technology:
“So we want to take Charging to the next level […] It’s Ethereum-based and with Smart Contracts we finally settle charging at the charging stations so far that the customers only pay for what they consume in the end — So for the electricity, what the charging station provides the customer. […] And we will be piloting this topic in the UK soon. That means our field test will start in July. Since we will also specifically the charging stations that we have connected, we will then test with electric vehicles accordingly and the result, which then results from these pilots, we will take to the next steps to initiate building on this may under certain circumstances, a product to go on the market with the product at the earliest in 2019. So we do not just have a proof of concept.
“Is IOTA the leading blockchain for VW?”
Volkswagen has been working on products using blockchain technology for quite some time. Since CEBIT it is now also known that different protocols are used depending on the application. That made it clear to Fabian Freiter in the course of the conversation. When asked if IOTA is the leading “blockchain” for VW, Freiter replied:
“The thing is, you have to look natural; which use case, what do you want to implement and what do you want to achieve with it? There are of course different technologies […] Ethereum has smart contracts. With that I can map logic, very simple “IF THEN” stories, for example. But there are also decentralized databases that are especially there for storing larger amounts of data. […] And I think you just have to look at what you have for a specific case and then you have to see if the technology fits the case.”