Volkswagen has integrated IOTA Tangle technology into its autonomous cars and displayed a proof of concept at the 11 June 2018 Cebit Expo in Germany, demonstrating the usefulness of cryptographic technology in the cutting-edge futuristic world of self-driving vehicles.
By using IOTA, Volkswagen can wirelessly send updates to its autonomous cars on a transparent, immutable ledger. This cryptographically secures updates, preventing tampering, and allows the public to review updates which increases trust and credibility. It is expected that by 2020, there will be 250 million autonomous cars, which will require frequent updates.
Additionally, IOTA will be able to handle recalls, configure car features, and provide statistics to insurance companies to adjust policy rates according to driver risk.
Perhaps the most lofty goal IOTA has is to be integrated into Volkswagen’s Mobility as a Service (MaaS), where cars would book trips and handle payments all by itself. If this comes to fruition, an autonomous car would be able to operate a business and earn money for its owner while the owner does absolutely nothing.
IOTA is the ninth most valuable cryptocurrency with a market cap of 4 billion USD, but what really makes it special is its underlying technology, different from many other cryptocurrencies. Instead of using a blockchain, it uses a Direct Acyclic Graph (DAG) called Tangle. A DAG is a directed graph that has a topological ordering, meaning it is a sequence of vertices where every edge is directed from earlier to later in the sequence. This can be used to store information in chronological order.
Unlike blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, IOTA transactions are free, without requiring any additional activity from miners to secure the network. This makes it ideal for micropayments, and also ideal for connecting devices with the Internet of Things (IoT), hence its name. Information can be transferred across the IoT with Tangle without any fees.
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