The Importance of Trustful Data Provenance for the Future of Connected Cars
Mobility Series: Blogpost #1
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In a bid to transform cars as we know them, the automotive industry has turned automobiles into live data centres, producing copious amounts of data. Today, almost all vehicles in circulation have computers and sensors onboard, recording critical mobility data, fundamental to their continued evolution and daily processes.

Yet, the availability of this data does not guarantee accurate results. Since every automotive company has its own independent ecosystem and with no way of cross-examination, the data is considered to be unreliable.

This is a major issue for the industry. Over the years, its reliance on data produced by cars has increased. For vehicles to carry out their functions as intended, they must have access to trustful, robust data.

As a result, there has been a shift in the industry from the traditional supply chain setup to a software-based one. Industry leaders have made many attempts to cope with this change, including the development of the Catena-X automotive network to create a platform where manufacturers, suppliers, dealer associations, and equipment suppliers can participate and create a uniform standard for information and data-sharing throughout the value chain.

The Challenge Faced by the Automotive Industry

Yet, even with an open network where it is possible to share data freely across the value chain, the question of the provided data-accuracy remains. Currently, there is no way to determine the trustability of critical mobility data used in tests and use cases. Most of the data used by the automotive industry is manually sorted.

Since every automobile company has its own ecosystem, it is not possible for them to share data without compromising their operations. Therefore, they have to depend on limited data, which does not cover all use cases and relevant situations that may arise in the real world.

In an attempt to tackle this problem, many corporations have turned to data silos. These silos contain large amounts of data that are filtered to access the necessary information. Yet, there is no way to prove if the data provided by silos is reliable.

Data authenticity is a necessity for the industry. In recent years, there have been events such as the Volkswagen emissions scandal, where critical mobility data was fabricated, and thus reinforced the need to ensure that the data used is trustworthy.

The Importance of Trustful Data

For the continued development of modern vehicles, trustful data is essential. Since cars move people from one place to another, it is integral that the data used to enable this process is completely accurate. There is no room for error.

At any given time, there are thousands of automobiles on the road. While some cars may be built by the same company, generally, there are different models and brands as well. Furthermore, datasets produced by cars heavily differ between brands, models and even different versions of the same car model. If any of these vehicles have inaccurate data, the results can be catastrophic.

Therefore, it is essential that critical mobility data across all vehicles, regardless of their model and make, is consistent. In the future, this will allow vehicles to communicate with each other to avoid traffic jams and other problems on the go.

The Road Ahead 

What the automotive industry needs is a way to access critical mobility data without compromising corporations' security. Due to the nature of the industry, the task is quite complex. 

The automotive industry has traditionally been quite centralised. It was necessary for it to be this way as a centralised system helped prevent cyber attacks. In the early days of digitised cars, attack vectors had increased exponentially. To protect the system from external threats, every car manufacturer created its own security system.

While this dealt with security concerns, it is incompatible with the approaching decentralised industry and business model, which heavily relies on data-sharing. 

This is where blockchain technology comes into play.

With its help, a universal platform can be created which can be implemented into the already existing ecosystem of every car manufacturer. To combat security concerns, the best way to approach this dilemma is by ensuring that even though data is accessed from the devices, it is done in such a way that no security-critical information is shared.

Introducing the RIDDLE&CODE Car Wallet

We understand the need for legacy ecosystems to maintain their own infrastructure. Therefore, there has to be a way to get the necessary information without accessing sensitive security systems.

RIDDLE&CODE believes that a third-party product can enter the market and provide an encrypted device to handle data operations. This led to the creation of the RIDDLE&CODE car wallet, which acts as a bridge between the vehicle and the data needed.

The car wallet represents a unique end-to-end solution with cryptographic identification that can prove the origins of data. It also has the ability to read CANbus data, creating an end-to-end integrated ecosystem of mobility services, vehicles and surrounding infrastructure. Data can be accessed confidentially so that the car is safe against external threats. 

With the wallet, critical mobility data is accessed from the vehicle's CAN file without exposing its contents which will then be put onto the blockchain. This can be accessed by companies for their research or test programs. Data can also be used by other vehicles to make similar related transactions.

Furthermore, blockchain technology can help streamline significant processes such as keeping track of component deliveries, creating smart contracts, providing CO2 mobility certificates and verifying ownership.

If the industry embraces such a model, the challenge of processing large unfiltered data will no longer exist. Critical mobility data retrieved by the service providers would be exactly what is required, with no questions about its origin.

Towards An Interconnected Future

An agile, universal system that allows the easy exchange of data between automobile manufacturers will help pave the way for autonomous automobiles, transforming the industry as we know it.

For this dream to be realised, critical mobility data must be accurate. Only then will test models be considered trustable to put autonomous vehicles on the road.

Access to trustful data is only the beginning. There are other challenges on the horizon ahead. As the idea of Web 3.0 gains more traction, the automotive industry must brace itself for yet another rapid change. 

It is no secret that both Apple and Google are working on creating autonomous electric vehicles. If the industry does not catch up to these tech giants, it will be left behind. Therefore, the most promising course of action for the automotive industry is to shift to Web 3.0.

RIDDLE&CODE is already developing the necessary infrastructure, hardware and software stack. Using experience from other verticals within the company, such as Fintech and Energy, we aim to provide the automotive industry with a secure and legacy system compatible toolchain to onboard vehicles and related machines to the web3.0.

The next blog post will dive deeper into why the automotive industry needs to adapt to Web 3.0. After that, we will discuss how tokenization has the potential to change the industry as we know it.

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