Fleet management of autonomous vehicles has gained traction over the past year, as more companies pivot their business models to accommodate this change in mobility.
So, what does this mean for auto finance?
Blockchain is set to play a huge role in fleet management, according to the report Blockchain @ Auto Finance from Deloitte Consulting LLC. This is because fleets will not only be autonomously operated but also autonomously finance themselves, identify users, conduct vehicle maintenance, charge, and pay for all those items without human intervention, according to Sebastian Pfeifle, an author of the blockchain report and partner/auto finance lead at Deloitte Consulting.
Blockchain use in autonomous vehicles provides a huge difference not just for customers, but for financiers because it will have “a fundamentally game-changing effect on how people use mobility and the cost of mobility,” since it will help reduce operating costs, he told Auto Finance News.
But prior to blockchain taking off in the mass market or corporate market, the ownership of a blockchain must be parsed through and clarified, he said. Blockchain is inherently a decentralized system, meaning that no one entity controls or operates it — much like how the internet can be used by anyone across the globe but no country, person, or company owns it.
“We don’t really know whether a completely open system will prevail [for blockchain],” Massimo Ferrari, another author of the report and senior consultant at the blockchain institute at Deloitte, told AFN, adding that the internet took over 30 years to resemble what we have today. It will be surprising if blockchain technology has the same level of user-friendliness as the internet within the next few years, Ferrari added.