This new technology could make used car fraud a thing of the past.
Despite advances in security technology, scandals still happen in the used car market. Buying a used car can save you money, but it's also very risky if a car's history isn't properly documented. Advertised cars that appear to be in pristine condition could have suffered damage from a prior accident and have underlying problems, as one buyer discovered last month when they bought a used Tesla Model 3. Then there's the age-old trick of rolling back the odometer to fraudulently increase a car's market value.
To tackle this problem, Ford, BMW, and other transportation companies are teaming up with startup company Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) to develop technology that tracks and protects a vehicle's true identity more accurately from the time it rolls off the production line.
Effectively, this will give the car a birth certificate. Based on the Vehicle Identity (VID) II Standard, the blockchain technology will work as a secure digital ledger containing a car's record such as a vehicle's registration and maintenance history, which can be accessed by buyers, regulators, and insurers. MOBI claims this technology is "tamper-proof," enabling buyers to avoid buying used cars with incorrect mileage, maintenance or damage histories.
"A secure digital vehicle identity sets the foundation for a fully automatic network for usage-based transportation services," said MOBI COO and Co-Founder, Tram Vo.
"We expect this network for frictionless transfer of value in the New Economy of Movement to open up trillions of dollars of new opportunities to monetize vehicles, services, data, and infrastructure."
MOBI also believes the technology can be applied to supply chains, automotive financing, electric car charging, and autonomous vehicle data exchange. "Ford believes this research into vehicle identity technology could lead to better ownership experiences," said Cynthia Flanigan, Director of Vehicle Research and Technology. "We also think this technology could help simplify the purchasing process in the future."