ZF, UBS and IBM will soon be jointly developing the first automotive transaction platform for mobility services based on blockchain technology. Car eWallet has the potential to radically change the way transactions for car related services are processed and considerably simplify the use of vehicle services.

Auto manufacturers, technology companies and mobility service providers are all driving the development of driverless cars. To support autonomous driving, however, these vehicles require a digital agent that can independently carry out tasks and authorize payments without the owner or user having to be active themselves.

ZF and UBS introduced their approach to the Car eWallet at the CES trade show in January. It is an innovative, digital assistant in the car that will allow secure and convenient payments, even "on the go". The Car eWallet will be based on the IBM Blockchain technology which makes it possible to synchronize the information of each participant in the network in a reliable and unchangeable data record. At the same time, it ensures that users only have access to the information that they are permitted to see and use. This makes secure transactions almost in real time possible without needing a central instance or a reliable third party.

More convenience and reliability for car sharing “The trend toward car-sharing and future autonomous vehicles requires, now more than ever, a transaction ecosystem that everyone can use,” explains Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. “The Car eWallet technology will reduce risks and costs while dramatically improving convenience for owners and users.”

Blockchain technology redefines transactions The platform will be built on IBM Blockchain technology. It will be provided through the IBM Cloud and driven by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by the Linux Foundation. With this public cloud service platform the partners intend to build a secure blockchain network that can collect fees for parking, tolls, as well as future use cases such as car-sharing, energy provisioning to the power system or delivery services.

“The world of mobility is quickly evolving with self-driving vehicles, electric cars and new mobility services having quickly evolved from visionary concepts into reality. Time of great change requires transformational solutions,” said Dirk Wollschlaeger, IBM general manager global automotive industry. “Together with UBS and ZF, we are engineering a new mobility platform to redefine how, when and where traditional transactions occur.”

Veronica Lange, Head of Innovation at UBS adds: “In today's digitally connected world, no single institution works in isolation. As a leading financial services institution we pursue the development of a new platform that will transform how transactions and payments between vehicles and other machines can be done efficiently and safely.”

Two new service providers on the horizon: APCOA and ChargePoint Just in time for the IAA, new service providers have announced their interest in the cooperation that will make the Car eWallet even more attractive for customers and users.

APCOA as Europe’s leading parking lot management company is a partner intending to pilot the new solution. This means drivers with Car eWallet vehicles would be able to pay at potentially over 200,000 parking places in 80 cities throughout Germany without having to reach for their wallets once. The APCOA Group operates in 12 European countries

ChargePoint, the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network, is the intended charging partner for Car eWallet. With more than 40,000 independently owned charging spots and more than 7,000 customers (businesses, cities, agencies, service providers, etc.), ChargePoint is the only charging technology company that designs, develops, and manufactures hardware and software solutions across every category EV drivers charge, at home, work, around town and on a trip. Earlier this year, ChargePoint announced its expansion into Europe with plans to offer a comprehensive suite of solutions across the region. One major advantage is the globally uniform operating and payment system that would be even easier to use with Car eWallet.

  • IBM is the newest partner in the Car eWallet cooperation
  • IBM Blockchain supports independent, secure, transparent and efficient vehicle transactions
  • C4DR (Centre for Digital Revolution) collaborates with UBS on the project – C4DR creates solutions for the fourth industrial revolution.
  • Car eWallet could radically simplify the use of services revolving around the vehicle. See more information here.