Self-driving cars can only get better if information is safely shared. That’s where blockchain technology comes in.
by Andrew Krok –
Sharing data will be important to the future of autonomous-car development, but it needs to be done in a safe, secure manner. Toyota thinks a blockchain can provide those benefits.
The Toyota Research Institute, a wholly owned subsidiary of the automaker, is working with MIT Media Lab and “other industry partners” to explore the idea of utilizing a blockchain to create a method for secure storage of data from self-driving cars.
Blockchains first rose to prominence through the digital currency bitcoin. A database of records is stored and maintained across a distributed network of computers. This distribution means different blocks can check data with one another, removing the need for manual oversight and providing a secure record of data.
If data were centrally stored — say, on a server farm somewhere — it could be vulnerable to security breaches, and it could also be manipulated. Once it’s in the blockchain, it can’t be altered retroactively, because other parts of the chain could check that manipulated data and say, “Hey, that’s not right.”