Toyota takes blockchain path to autonomous cars, UBI

The automaker reveals partnership as it looks to advance on usage based insurance

Toyota takes blockchain path to autonomous cars, UBI


By Allie Sanchez

Japanese automaker Toyota is taking a different approach to usage based insurance in its partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab.

The joint project between the US-based Toyota Research Institute and the Media Lab aims to develop a proof of concept that will make use of current drivers’ data to influence the creation of future autonomous vehicles.

According to trade publication Information Management, the use of the distributed time stamped ledgers will allow developers to leverage data while ensuring security and ownership over the information, two issues which have hampered the growth of telematics in the past.

 “Hundreds of billions of miles of human driving data may be needed to develop safe and reliable autonomous vehicles,” TRI chief financial officer Chris Ballinger said in the report.

“Blockchains and distributed ledgers may enable pooling data from vehicle owners, fleet managers and manufacturers to shorten the time for reaching this goal, thereby bringing forward the safety, efficiency, and convenience benefits of autonomous driving technology.”

TRI also said that another Toyota subsidiary, Toyota Insurance Management Solutions, is working with blockchain start-up Gem to develop a usage based insurance (UBI) product.

Of UBI, Toyota said, “by allowing the vehicle’s sensors to collect driving data and store it in a blockchain, vehicle owners may be eligible to further lower their insurance costs by giving their insurance companies increased transparency to reduce fraud, plus granting them access to driving data to measure safe driving habits.”

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