BMW Jumps into Blockchain
BMW Jumps into Blockchain

Global automotive vehicle giant BMW is piloting a blockchain platform to track mileage in leased vehicles through its startup innovation program.

The effort is being carried out in partnership with blockchain startup DOVU – one in all 5 startups to work with BMW cluster the United Kingdom as a part of the company’s Innovation Lab, initially unveiled back in February. Specifically, DOVU developed a system with Alphabet, BMW’s fleet manager, to incentivize drivers to log mileage in leased or borrowed vehicles.

The idea is that the system helps BMW understand how much activity its vehicles are seeing and also the impact on them, DOVU’s head of product, Alex Morris, explained.

Morris said the current automatic mileage tracking systems are unreliable therefore BMW chose to define the parameters for token rewards through mileage, and don’t provide the knowledge that the company may actually use.

As a result, a pilot program is launched wherever drivers need to be having a leased or borrowed vehicles to log their mileage weekly, that gets stored on DOVU’s blockchain.

“Right now the most important issue for the resale price of their vehicles is mileage,” he said. “The problem is quite a very important and needs to be resolved, therefore when we suggested tokens to incentivize them to do that they were very excited.”

The first part of the project was to partnership with – the proof-of-concept – that has been completed already, said Max Lomuscio, UN agency serves as DOVU’s community manager. Now the startup is designing for the second part, which will do the actual trial with drivers. This portion can take another 6-8 week, he explained.

Ultimately, “the main plan is to become this type of universal rewards system which will work across all vehicles, and build some kind of unified wallet system for token rewards that you have to just use on your BMW, however maybe you can jump into your second car and earn additional tokens and so spend those throughout the ecosystem,” according to Morris.

All above that, the BMW startup also wants to work with smart city environments, and for that, they have already started discussions with many cities to determine how the spending and earning can be incorporated into public transit and other aspects of a metropolitan city.

The project comes in existence months after DOVU – Jaguar’s venture arm – completed a $6 million ICO (Initial coin offering).

Driving image via Shutterstock