Next month BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Renault will begin testing a blockchain-based identification system that enables automatic payments for parking and road tolls.
The carmakers are working on the program with the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), which was formed in May 2018. Several suppliers, including Bosch, Denso, IBM and ZF, also are members of the consortium.
Under the pilot program, participating vehicles will be assigned digital IDs that can be read by specially equipped infrastructure devices. This would allow a vehicle to be tracked and charged the appropriate parking or toll fees without motorists having to stop and pay or use specialized tags.
Blockchain—the platform used for Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies—uses a decentralized network to share data, which proponents say make it virtually impossible to hack. Other potential automotive applications include supply chain management, autonomous vehicle systems, secure payments, managing big data and car- and ride-hailing services.
Although the RAV4 has plenty of heritage in the small crossover segment, competition has gotten a whole lot tougher, so Toyota has made significant changes to the fourth-generation model.
Ram Truck chief exterior designer Joe Dehner talks about how they’ve developed the all-new pickup. “We’ve been building trucks for over 100 years,” he says. “Best I could come up with is that this is our 15th-generation truck.”
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.