Porsche believes it will thrive and also set standards in the auto industry's coming electrification era, and the innovation has already begun today.
The German performance marque announced it will bring blockchain to its cars, a digital ledger that records transactions chronologically and publicly.
For a bit of background, blockchain predominantly powers cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. As a transaction or other event happens, it is recorded in the fully accessible blockchain for the greatest amount of transparency. It's also tamper-proof, which makes it highly desirable to Porsche. The brand believes its potential can bring greater peace of mind to drivers as data transfers and third-party applications require more from cars and their onboard technology.
Security is important, but Porsche also sees blockchain as the foundation for future business models. The system could create an extremely fast and secure network for electric car charging station availability and payment. Further into the future, it may also prove essential to self-driving cars. Information from a self-driving Porsche on, let's say, road conditions, could be uploaded and distributed across the blockchain. From there, other vehicles' software connected to the system could access and analyze the information to provide a warning to traffic congestion or inclement weather.
Porsche will bring blockchain to its cars via a Berlin, Germany-based startup called XAIN. The company won the first Porsche Innovation Contest on the subject of blockchain last summer. Prototype versions from XAIN in a Panamera currently use blockchain to analyze charging infrastructure and even parking. And Porsche also has a whole department focused on the growing area of digitization in the auto industry.