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BMW is now making use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency rewards to set up a better system of tracking mileage – something that has been troubling the automobile industry for quite some time now. BMW’s Innovation Lab is working in association with cryptocurrency startup DOVU, providing tokenized incentives in the form of DOV cryptocurrency tokens – an ERC 20 token developed by DOVU. Together, the two ran a pilot project which has been deemed a success.
In their blog post, DOVU points out that preserving the residual market values of leased vehicles is “literally where [BMW] makes its money,” and isolates car mileage as the single most important factor that determines whether the resale value of the vehicle in question will be negatively affected.
“Yet existing systems to manage mileage data are inadequate, as DOVU emphasizes:
“Currently the system to track vehicle mileage across fleets inside BMW is via a fuel card. When a driver fuels their vehicle, the fuel station is supposed to enter and store the mileage of the vehicle, also printing the mileage on the fuel receipt. For a number of reasons including mistyped numbers, oversight or even just being too busy, this data is at best inconsistent but often useless.”
The pilot tested a tokenized rewards system, whereby mileage data collection will still be manually input by drivers, but a DOVU token wallet app will be used as an incentive for drivers to take a snapshot of their dashboard at a specific time each week.
Making use of OCR and Machine Learning technologies, a log of mileage could be generated within seconds – which is recorded on a blockchain platform and can easily be accessed by BMW. A smart-contract based system was made use of – and the users who underwent this rewards program were awarded 1 DOV per picture. DOVU commented on this saying:
“Using gamification and encouragement through streaks we made repeat use desirable by earning more tokens for maintaining regular use. By the end of the initial ten-week programme, we had produced a custom wallet for BMW, co-branded with the Alphabet visual branding. The app was distributed internally via our enterprise accounts with versions available for iOS and Android users and the pilot continues to run so we can keep measuring how tokenisation can encourage people to carry out certain tasks or influence their behaviour.”
Porsche came out in February of this year as “the first” car manufacturer to test blockchain systems for use by drivers, as well as for driverless cars. A new Ford patent which saw car-to-car payments being made using cryptocurrencies. This is an interesting time for the automobile sector as blockchain-led innovations widen the scope of what cars can do!