HPE and Continental Target Vehicle Data Sharing with New Blockchain Offering

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• A new blockchain-based Data Monetization Platform from HPE and Continental promises to provide car manufacturers and drivers with a more secure and transparent way of sharing vehicle-generated data.

• Potential users should explore the operational, cost, and integration aspects of the new platform, while also investigating opportunities to productize the platform in ways that could benefit all platform participants.

HPE and German automotive manufacturing firm, Continental AG, recently announced a new Data Monetization Platform (DMP), which is based on blockchain technology, and which is designed to help car manufacturers and other partners share and trade data with one other. Data sharing and trading will be used to improve digital services for customers, or to monetize vehicle data (e.g., by helping manufacturers develop and differentiate their brands). By leveraging blockchain, the new DMP aims to address concerns about data sovereignty, security, and transparency, which currently act as barriers to data sharing among competitive automotive manufacturers. The new platform, which is expected to be available later in 2019, was jointly designed by HPE Pointnext and Continental’s Interior division.
For connected and autonomous vehicles, data sharing is regarded as key to improving brands and providing a range of driver-assistance services – including those that help drivers avoid traffic hazards, and those that identify the most efficient travel routes. However, existing systems for selling and trading data typically rely on a centralized data store where data can be altered, and where there is less visibility into, and control over, what happens to that data. By leveraging blockchain technology, HPE and Continental’s DMP relies on a decentralized model for data sharing in which the data providers (i.e., car manufacturers and drivers) remain in control of their data and data privacy settings via an opt-in and opt-out feature. It therefore has potential to offer a strong and more secure alternative to existing platforms for sharing vehicle data, and one that emphasizes data privacy.

Although the DMP promises multiple benefits and monetization opportunities – including the ability to provide a new source of revenue for manufacturers who participate in data trading – its success depends on the participation of both vehicle manufacturers and drivers. Therefore, to succeed HPE and Continental will need to demonstrate to potential users how the platform works and, in particular, how it works better than existing alternatives. The two partners have made a good start in explaining the security and privacy features of the new decentralized, blockchain-based platform. However, currently no information about pricing is available and automotive manufacturers that have already invested in data trading platforms will need to see the economic value in replacing existing systems with the new blockchain-based platform. HPE and Continental will also need to elaborate on the requirements for integrating vehicle data into car manufacturers’ backend systems and services.

Potential users should certainly ask questions about the operational and integration aspects of the new blockchain-based DMP. However, they should also investigate opportunities to productize the platform in ways that could benefit all platform participants. Although specific applications of the platform will, to some extent, be determined by consumer demand, driver consent, and a vehicle’s capabilities and sensor equipment, early participants in the platform ecosystem have an opportunity to shape its revenue-generating potential.

 

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