The companies said in a press release that the platform, which will be used for mobility services, will use the distributed-ledger technology to enable secure and transparent in-vehicle payments.
ZF, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, earlier this year already showed its Car eWallet during a press event in Germany. The blockchain-based payment system lets users make cashless payments for highway tolls, parking and electric charging from inside their vehicles.
IBM said it will work with ZF and UBS, a Swiss financial services group, to synchronize and store information provided by users of the platform in a safe record.
The companies predicted the platform and its safety features will transform e-commerce and create new opportunities for carmakers and service providers.
The platform now under development is built on IBM’s blockchain technology and will be delivered via the IBM cloud.
Various automotive companies have been testing blockchain technology as a means to offer safe and secure services around connected cars. But many of these projects are still in a trial phase.
Nevertheless, automakers and suppliers expect blockchain to play a big role as they prepare to roll out more connected services and develop new business areas.
A recent study by consultants Simon-Kucher & Partners predicts the market for blockchain applications in the automotive industry will be worth €104 billion by 2030.
Blockchain is also seen as a key enabler of digitalization by governments. This week, the German government published a concept aimed at promoting the technology as an essential building block of its strategy to modernize Europe’s biggest economy.
Germany’s high-tech association, Bitkom, said the initiative can help speed up the implementation of blockchain.
“Blockchain has the potential to completely turn conventional processes upside down and fundamentally change entire businesses,” said Bitkom President Achim Berg.