Mercedes Joins the Blockchain Revolution


Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service (BMBS) will apply blockchain technology in its used car data management.  Blockchain startup PlatON has developed the platform for storing data and calculating the price of used business cars. 

The used car market is a difficult place to navigate. Without a reliable way to track vehicle history, consumers often have to take the dealers’ word as fact when purchasing a used car. That said, used cars still sell a lot because they are often more affordable. Therefore, a trustworthy ledger to store data can effectively create trust and order in this sector. The creation of blockchain technology has provided such a ledger.

A System to Calculate and Monitor Car Price

Blockchain has the trait of trustworthiness and immutability. This is because once data is entered on the blockchain; it cannot be altered or interfered with retrospectively. As such, PlatON has leveraged this technology in its Vehicle Residual Value Management Platform to store both static and dynamic data. This data can equip dealers and customers with an automatic way to reliably calculate the residual value of vehicles in the system over time.

Moreover, the Vehicle Residual Value Management Platform will also add value to other entities not limited to BMBS. These include 4s (Sales, Service, Spare parts and Surveys) car dealerships — authorized car dealerships in China — as well as vehicle inspection firms and used car owners. The immutable data storage will henceforth give consumers an easier time in the used car market. Mercedes can effectively have data for the vehicle’s entire life cycle.

The used car market is significant worldwide. In China, this market is certainly larger than most other countries. 

PlatON CSO Ada Xiao sees great potential in this venture:

“With over 6.5 million used cars in China traded in the first half of the year alone, we hope that our collaboration with BMBS will highlight the need for more sophisticated data collection systems to accurately monitor the value of the vehicles comprising China’s substantial used car market.”

Previously, PlatON participated in an incubator program called Startup Autobahn. Daimler, which is the parent company of Mercedes Benz, runs the program.

Daimler Blockchain Involvement

The Mercedes collaboration with PlatON in China certainly adds to Daimler’s blockchain portfolio. Previously, Daimler entered into a partnership agreement with blockchain interface solutions startup Riddle & Code in July 2019. 

The partnership would see Riddle & Code create a hardware-based car wallet. Car wallets can also make many areas of modern vehicle operation more efficient. These include car-sharing, autonomous vehicles and automated secure traffic communication with smart city environments. 

Riddle & Code CEO Tom Fürstner explained the goal of the project as follows:

“Autonomous cars must behave consistently to be trusted. Cars are already computing devices. A secure identity ensures that the right authorities have approved code executed inside vehicles and the trustworthiness of data exchanged. RIDDLE&CODE secures this with its cryptographic hardware and uses ledgers to turn automobiles into future market places.”Therefore, blockchain automation is a field which vehicle manufacturers are continually exploring and investing in. Additionally, Mercedes Benz has a significant supply chain project with Icertis, which has also worked with Microsoft. This roll-out of blockchain to try and streamline used car sales is, therefore, not an aberration. Moving forward, it will be interesting to track similar blockchain projects from rival car companies.



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