Blockchain car payments at CES

innogy Innovation Hub, ZF and UBS present Car eWallet in Las Vegas

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the biggest global get-together of tech innovators and enthusiasts, held annually in Las Vegas. Last week, the innogy Innovation Hub was in town with partners ZF and UBS to present a prototype of Car eWallet – an innovative new car payment system using blockchain technology.

Why is a digital wallet for cars so exciting?

As well as being one of only a few blockchain applications on display at CES 2017, Car eWallet demonstrated how in the future, your car can become an economically independent vehicle.

With Car eWallet, you will no longer need to wait in line to pay a highway toll. Nor will you have to search around for cash or credit cards to pay for parking or electric vehicle charging. Instead, your car will pay automatically and send you a notification.

While users will be able to top up the eWallet from their computer or a mobile app, the Car eWallet will also help you to earn money by collecting payments for car-sharing or delivery services. It can even authorize a third party to deliver a package to the trunk of your car, while still protecting the vehicle.

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'Inductive charging' will simplify e-mobility

But that’s not all. Blockchain’s micropayments feature means that e-mobility vehicle owners will no longer need to drive around looking for a charging station. Through “inductive charging”, cars can simply charge up while waiting at a red light using Car eWallet to transact the smallest of payments.

The aim of presenting the prototype was to gather insights and test the demand for this solution. Feedback received from car manufacturers, major suppliers and the Smart City and Mobility sector was hugely positive – it seems that people can’t wait to get their hands on this technology to test and use it. The learnings will help the innogy Innovation Hub, ZF and UBS to refine their business models.

It seems that technology driven innovation in the mobility and transport system will be a key driver for the fourth industrial revolution. Carsten Stöcker, Blockchain Evangelist for the innogy Innovation Hub and working for the “Machine Economy” focus topic said:

"In our project the pillars of a decentralised mobility platform have been prototyped and built upon convergence of the communication internet including the blockchain, energy internet and mobility/logistics internet to create a new transaction layer.”

Carsten Stöcker, Blockchain Evangelist for the innogy Innovation Hub

We are now looking forward to developing an open decentral mobility platform with partners as the next applied prototyping step.

If you want to know how a future of mobility can look like, read here about “Goodbye car-ownership”, written by Thomas Birr, Senior Vice President Innovation and Business Transformation, innogy SE and Carsten Stöcker, Blockchain Evangelist for the innogy Innovation Hub, on the World Economic Forum website.