Blockchain is essentially a data structure, enabling the implementation of a decentralized ledger. Being a secure and transparent technology, blockchain combined with IoT based solutions could help fleet owners to optimize their businesses. Here we describe what is blockchain and how it could benefit transport telematics.
What is blockchain
Blockchain could be defined as a data structure enabling decentralized software implementation that stores transactions.
Every block includes a list of transactions, plus some associated metadata (when such block was created, block number, block creator, information concerning the previous block). Each block maintains a hash of the previous one, therefore creating a chain of linked blocks.
Some of the blockchain advantages are:
- Transactions facilitation without a central trusted party.
- Cryptographically-secured data.
- Immutable data.
- Removed friction and reduced risks enabling efficient real-time settlements.
Each blockchain node maintains a database containing the state of a blockchain. The state on its turn contains the final result of running all the transactions within the blockchain.
Blockchain advantages could result in very fruitful solutions in fleet management, especially in areas like freight tracking, payment transactions, ordering processes, and customs clearance to list a few. Some potential blockchain applications in transport telematics will be described further.
Blockchain applications in transport telematics
Blockchain technologies potential could be successfully utilized to shape and revolutionize the fleet management ecosystem. It also could lead to smoother progress in transport systems intellectualization and mobility.
Further progress in IoT and IoV will lead to a dramatic increase in data volumes, and blockchain could in such a scenario became an effective instrument for decentralized distributed storage and security management.
Now, let’s consider a few examples, demonstrating how blockchain-based solutions could be implemented to solve transport telematics challenges. To begin with lets briefly go through the Blockchain-Based Intelligent Vehicle Data sharing Framework by M. Singh and S. Kim. Authors proposed a reward-based intelligent vehicle communication using blockchain technology. The proposed mechanism contains three basics technologies including communication network enabled connected devices, Vehicular Cloud Computing (VCC), and blockchain technology (BT). The figure below shows the complete data-sharing environment for intelligent vehicles.
As a result, the authors presented a reward-based intelligent vehicle communication based on blockchain technology without dependency on specific services. Another potential blockchain application is A Blockchain-Based Architecture for Traffic Signal Control Systems, proposed by W. Li et al. Authors designed a blockchain-based and decentralized architecture for connected vehicular networks. Undertaken research claimed to be the first step for migrating blockchain technology from cryptocurrency systems into traffic signal control systems. The author’s strategy was to leverage their blockchain-based architecture to transform the original centralized vehicular network in a decentralized one, as shown in the figure below.
In conclusion, let’s briefly go through A Blockchain Framework for Securing Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, as suggested by G. Rathee et al. Authors considered the IoV application and proposed a security mechanism for connected autonomous vehicles services framework using the blockchain technique.
The suggested framework significantly reduced the users’ fake requests, the compromise of IoT devices, and the alteration in the stored user’s ratings. The adversary model of the proposed framework is shown in the figure above.
To summarize, blockchain technology has already applied in various scenarios related to transport telematics, including autonomous vehicles development, IoV, vehicle data frameworks, and secure vehicle connectivity. With further development of IoT, IoV, and a rise in vehicular connectivity, blockchain use-cases in telematics will become more widespread.
- N. Prusty, Blockchain for Enterprise, 2018.
- S. Narbayeva, Blockchain technology on the way of autonomous vehicles development, 2020.
- M Singh and S. Kim, Blockchain-Based Intelligent Vehicle Data sharing Framework, 2017.
- W. Li et al, A Blockchain-Based Architecture for Traffic Signal Control Systems, 2019.
- G. Rathee et al, A Blockchain Framework for Securing Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, 2019.