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Ford uses blockchain to track fleet emissions in Cologne trial

Ford

Automaker Ford is using a blockchain to measure emissions from hybrid vehicles in Germany.

Ford’s pilot sees ten Ford hybrid vehicles travelling around the city of Cologne. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) feature an on-board device with cellular connectivity. When one of the vehicles enters a low emission zone in the city, the device automatically activates the vehicle’s electric drive mode.

It then documents the number of “green miles” driven by the vehicle, storing this information on a blockchain which is available to city authorities. A blockchain stores time-stamped records of data across distributed servers rather than a single database, making a secure and tamper-proof record available to multiple parties.

The vehicles will be able to automatically adapt when emissions zones are changed by authorities.

Gunnar Herrmann, chairman of the management board, Ford-Werke GmbH, said: “The blockchain technology we are testing here in Cologne enables secure, tamper-proof tracking and logging of vehicle emissions records, which makes it ideal for the PHEV pilot.

“Security, trust and transparency of emissions data are of paramount importance to all stakeholders in this project and are key for our vision of cleaner air in the city.”

Mark Harvey, director, Commercial Vehicle Mobility, Ford of Europe, said: “Ford is committed to delivering new, more environmentally sustainable vehicles that can help address the mobility challenges our cities face.

“The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle trials with our partners in the City of Cologne build upon our ongoing electrification programmes elsewhere in Europe, and bring us all closer to meeting our combined urban air quality goals.”