Finally, someone makes some noise about safety concerns surrounding cars of our future.
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We have already assumed how connected cars will be the certain future of automobiles, but large question marks loom ominously over how safe such features will be. By connecting cars to a common cloud platform, the threat of malicious intent becomes even higher. Toyota seems to have recognised this, and wants to make such cars safer by using a blockchain - the same security method that is used by Bitcoin digital currency.
Toyota's wholly owned subsidiary, Toyota Research Institute, is reportedly working in partnership with the MIT Media Lab to explore how blockchains can be used to make storage, access and distribution of connected car data safer in the near future. The idea of using blockchains rose from Bitcoin, the digital currency. With this, the data is logged and stored across multiple points in a network. By doing so, the entire data becomes more difficult to be tampered with or accessed without permission, as these distributed sections of the data can tally with each other to identify potential flaws, threats and breaches.
Using blockchain can become practical for autonomous cars, which will generate extensive amounts of driving data. Companies may then collect these data safely and monetise for further research. With talks surrounding autonomous ride-hailing and ride sharing services, using blockchain can be key to making such networks of cars and humans safer. Systems of automated data protected by blockchain can help in safety of personal data as well as making digital payments safer. Blockchain data access may also help insurance companies in future, who may look at the record of driving data of a car and adjust policy prices accordingly.
Talks regarding this safety technology is only in nascent stages, and further evaluations will be required to identify whether using blockchains in car data would be a viable procedure, or alternative steps need to be taken to make inter-car communications safer. Nevertheless, someone has finally started taking steps against the concerns on connected car safety.
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