Autonomous cars are an amazing invention of this era. They relieve the drivers from the tricky task of managing brakes, acceleration and avoiding barriers while they drive. So basically, you can now focus on reading and other activities while the wheel drives itself.
How is this possible? Well, the system is quite ingenious. The vehicle takes information of gigabytes from its environment and keeps processing them to calculate the next step. This self-driving technology makes use of highly sensitive cameras and sensors with state-of-the-art mechanisms in Machine Learning and AI. Besides this, the recent scientific discovery that states that blockchain can connect automobiles, is also opening up new avenues for the future.
Recently, Uber was in real trouble when one of its autonomous vehicles hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. This incident derives the fact that technology is still not perfect and there are some serious risks involved. The only way to settle this problem is to have a common entity that can decide what will happen on the road.
The role of blockchain technology
Essentially, the technology of driverless cars depends on big data. It collects, analyzes and uses the information within nano-seconds to enhance precision. The role of blockchain in this system is more like ensuring the transparency of data transfer and protecting against all kinds of manipulation. To a layperson, this transparency might seem useless. But imagine, what will happen if a cyber-terrorist group gains access to the databases of these driverless cars running on a crowded street or on a highway?
It will be a catastrophe!
A transportation system that works with blockchain can allot due time to the movement of each vehicle, where the waiting period for each car can be controlled and distributed fairly. So, hackers will be unable to penetrate into this system because of ultra-secure protocols that blockchain follows. Also, there will be no privacy concerns because the blocks are anonymous.
Builds a channel of trust
The fact that blockchain will now power driverless cars tends to remove the uncertainty among the vehicles. It can strengthen the trust that autonomous cars have with every turn. The technology needs to cater to individual cars and the road. This collaboration asks for the teamwork of all the vehicles running on the road to elevate efficiency and security.
There are some speculations concerning what will happen if more cars join the network. And there is still some work to be done on these lines to make sure that the computational power of the system is strong at saturation times. In a perfect system, every vehicle will not only consider avoidance with non-vehicular objects (walls, trees) but will also convey these calculations to others on the network.
Despite all the benefits that the system seems to offer, there is still one aspect that it fails to cover. That is, it cannot replace the cameras, sensors, and software that the self-driven vehicles are using. The blockchain cannot provide any notification that will avoid collision with a pedestrian or animal. For now, it can only stick to minimize car-to-car collisions.
Protection of user information
Apart from ensuring crash security, the blockchain technology also guarantees the protection of user information. Before the introduction of this model, hackers were able to access user information such as their addresses, names and payment details which they later used against them. In a driverless taxi that will be operating via blockchain, the information of the passengers such as their names, pick-up and drop-off points can be stored and distributed on a secure central ledger. Thus, offering a completely tamper-resistant system.
Free payment network
The primary use of blockchain, since its inception, has no doubt been payments that do not have to rely on any intermediaries. When Bitcoin surfaced in 2008, it’s main aim was to become a truly decentralized peer-to-peer currency which ensures fast payments from one party to another. On similar lines, we find that other compelling projects are popping into the industry — for example, the AutoBlock where car enthusiasts from across the globe can deal in the vehicles of their interest using its distinguished currency, the AutoCoin. It is operating in the cryptocurrency space to enable near-instant and absolutely free payments.
The technology can also improve on how taxis are charging their clients and keeping track of their accounts. The smart contract technology of blockchain holds the capability of making the payment process easy. This system makes sure that each party holds their end of the bargain and in case of any dispute, they find a solution without involving a central authority.
Self-driving cars which were only a distant realm that we saw in sci-fi movies are now a reality. Plus the internet, as we know, has brought a fundamental change in commerce. So, if you are someone who is planning to give this technology a shot, then this is the right time. The incorporation of blockchain in this system forecasts promising developments that are coming in shortly. Start by getting rid of that traditional vehicle that you are using currently. This step is also possible on virtual grounds.
Gone are the days when the buyers had to visit numerous dealers, take test drives and find a car that fit their requirements. Websites, like we buy cars today, are operating to provide a free valuation of the vehicle, arrange pick-up of your car and pay its price right away. You can then buy an affordable autonomous vehicle without any hassle.
Evie harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison