Blockchain technology could grant users temporary access to a range of cars and facilitate autonomous ride sharing.

Even the more basic elements such as locking and unlocking your car will be faster and safer, as will remote unlocking, in case you’re expecting a delivery while you’re out.

Limitless potential

Blockchain technology is poised to unlock entirely new ways of doing business, reshape how to engage with brands, and transform how companies connect with their customers. The business world is being redefined as companies large and small rethink how they attract, and more importantly retain, customers. Central to all this is brand experience, and no one knows better than carmakers.

Millennials and Generation Z are taking over the world. While the former is now making up the largest percentage of workforce, Gen Z is actually a larger generation than Millennials and the Baby Boomers, making up about 25% of the US population.

But perhaps the greatest hallmark of these folks is their affinity towards technology and access to the internet. A study by SDL showed that five out of six Millennials connect with companies on social media networks, while recent research by Fluentco reveals that 87% of Millennials own a smartphone.

What does this mean for car makers?

These generations are the most connected to date. They seem to be the type of value authentic brands who offer experiences worth remembering, experiences worth sharing - instantly and across vast networks. If companies can craft these experiences, they are well on their way to convert audiences into advocates. In a world where acquiring a new customer is 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining one, what could be more important?

Elevated user experience

Things start by customising the whole driving experience for car owners - end to end. From basic elements like remote unlocking to advanced ones like ride sharing, distributed ledgers have a part in play in crafting the ideal brand experience, both for makers and drivers.

Here are a few examples of how blockchain could alter the automotive landscape:

  • Connected Cars: An astonishing amount of technology is being built into vehicles nowadays, from GPS navigation systems to infotainment. DLT can serve as an accurate, transparent base layer in an age where everything is available on demand.
  • Secure transactions: Companies are exploring financial integration mechanisms that allow the seamless transfer of payments at stations, car parks and toll stations.
  • Loyalty benefits: Manufacturers can enhance their brand experience by offering owners access to additional vehicles in their range, an exotic supercar for a weekend or a family vacation.
  • Mobility profiles: publicly available distributed ledgers can securely house the mobility profiles of car owners, allowing them to create more personalised experiences.
  • Autonomous ride sharing: Blockchain will make it possible for vehicle owners to monetise their rides and cargo space. Vehicle data and driver and passenger information can be accessed on a DLT enabled system, saving users time and effort.

This shift in the automobile landscape will give consumers more control over their experiences, even as AI begins to take on the wheel, while the automakers stand to benefit from increased loyalty as a result.

Impress your customers to retain them

Car buyer tastes are constantly changing. What customers enjoy today is what they will gravitate towards for their next purchase but that object might be a new one tomorrow. Automotive manufacturers already have very low customer retention rates. As IHS Automotive found out, loyalty figures hover around 51%. That is to say, almost half the owners preferred to go with another brand when purchasing or leasing a new vehicle. It's in car-makers' interests to change this.

AG Daimler, for instance, the Maker of Mercedes-Benz, is testing the ITS with a blockchain based Digital Currency that is created by The MobiCoin for Drivers Reward for Safe Driving Speeds and AT Following Environmentally friendly Driving Habits.

By the same token, Porsche became the first automobile manufacturer to successfully implement blockchain in a car, with possible applications ranging from an app to lock and open car doors for temporary access authorisation and improving the capabilities of driverless cars.

And then there's the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative that aims to speed up the adoption of DLT vehicles, including companies such as BMW, Ford, Renault and General Motors on board. The writing could not be clearer.

Looking ahead

New ideas and expectations are now transforming the automotive business. Profound changes are taking place in the industry, at breakneck pace. Large auto companies have developed silos over time, but blockchain technology is the creation of systems that break through them. This innovation and focus on new technologies is leading to the reinvention of the industry, a reimagining of what a car is and what it can do.