Ford has extended its European plug-in hybrid electric
vehicle (PHEV) trial to the German city of Cologne – including exploring geofencing
and blockchain technology to help track ‘green miles.’
The automotive firm, which is also testing its PHEVs
on the streets of London and Valencia, is working in coordination with five
municipal fleets in Cologne, nine Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vans, and one Tourneo
Custom Plug-In Hybrid people mover. Ford will also find how innovative
geofencing and blockchain technology could assist in tracking and increasing
the number of ‘green miles’ driven by vehicles.
Cities implementing low-emission zones may find it difficult to administer them, the company warned. Ford’s geofencing and blockchain technology will help improve functioning of the low-emission zones by discouraging most polluting vehicles from driving through them.
In the one-year long trial, each of the 10 PHEVs feature the FordPass Connect on-board cellular modem, and a plug-in device that allows the geofencing and blockchain capabilities. Vehicles with these fittings will be able to generate green miles as soon as they enter a green zone, which triggers an electric-drive mode automatically. The emissions mode and time of the vehicles are recorded to blockchain while entering and leaving a controlled zone.
Recently, automotive blockchain consortium MOBI
collaborated with some of its founding members on a proof of concept for
blockchain Vehicle Identity (VID). Alongside Ford, BMW, Renault, GM, Honda, and
other vehicle manufacturers will be contributing to the trial. Blockchain VID
associates mobility services to the vehicle instead of the person driving a
car. For example, smart contracts will enable instant payments of electric charging
fees. Another use case is to create mobility networks, where cars communicate
with each other. This is ideally suited to carsharing and pay per use.
In July, it was reported that Ford is building its own LTE/5G network to test connected cars in a private environment. Established at its Dearborn, Michigan-based campus, the network will operate in the 3.5GHz CBRS band and use equipment from Ericsson, Juniper, and Dell.
Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America.
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Credit: Blockchain News