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Accident built? Cardossier has developed the car blockchain

Deception and fraud in the car trade could soon be a thing of the past. Cardossier” is the forgery-proof notebook for vehicles. Accidents and repairs are noted. Since it writes the data to the blockchain, they are immutable and forgery-proof.

Trust is good, but control is better – this is often the motto on the used car market. And for potential vehicle buyers and sellers alike. And so, in the future, cars will also benefit from blockchain technology. Around 4.5 million passenger cars are registered in Switzerland. Every year, private individuals and companies sell around 800,000 vehicles as used cars.

From the new car to the scrap yard

Swiss startup cardossier has developed an interesting project to map the lifecycle of cars – using blockchain. This would enable tamper-proof archiving of a vehicle’s data. And it would do so from the time a new car is sold until it is scrapped. The initiator of Cardossier is the Swiss software company AdNovum. It built the platform based on its “Secure Blockchain for Business” solution. The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and the University of Zurich were also originally involved in the project.

The goal of Cardossier: the digital car dossier

Tokenization or auto tokens are not the focus. The idea of the project is to collect all relevant data during the life cycle of a vehicle in the blockchain. All parties involved have access to those data in which they are involved via the transactions: Importers, garages, insurance companies, leasing companies and road traffic offices. The goal of the Cardossier platform is to digitize and automate the automotive ecosystem. The entries gradually create the digital dossier. And the car owner gets access to the entire car dossier. “Transparency is important. In the future, we want to establish a new trust for all trade partners,” says Cardossier CEO Franziska Füglistaler. In the future, a vehicle’s data will be networked and stored in different locations via blockchain – in the same quality. “So it is no longer possible to change a data record without authorization.”

Authorities also benefit

It’s mainly data that reflects the current state of a car. And that’s since the car was put on the market. “The car blockchain is intended to map the entire life cycle of a vehicle – without gaps.” According to Füglistaler, this is not only an advantage for professional and private car dealers. “Authorities such as road traffic offices and the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) also benefit.”

Securing vehicle data via the blockchain

Using smart contracts, blockchain offers entirely new opportunities to efficiently automate business processes. Thanks to blockchain, the following data on the condition of a vehicle can be recorded in a more forgery- and change-proof manner:

  • Mapping of a transparent and traceable vehicle history.
  • Disclosure of past accidents and damage to body or engine.
  • Recording of interim sales to other vehicle users.
  • Presentation of inspection reports by public authorities.

The car blockchain is intended to map the entire life cycle of a vehicle – without gaps.

Cardossier CEO Franziska Füglistaler

Advantages of Cardossier – car buyers profit

The advantages of Cardossier’s car blockchain for consumers and dealers are obvious:

  • Avoidance of potential reputational damage to dealers.
  • More comprehensive consumer protection through traceable data.
  • Collection of statistical data on accidents or parking damage, for example.
  • Private car buyers can buy a car more safely. They know better about the true condition of a used car.

From the consumer’s point of view, especially buyers of used cars benefit from a comprehensive car blockchain. As a layperson, it is difficult to assess the health of a used car. Many buyers, especially laypeople with no car knowledge, know the uneasy feeling when buying a used car. Is the mileage right? Buyers are at the mercy of sometimes dubious car salesmen who sometimes conceal the true condition of a car. It also happens that car dealers sell unsuspecting buyers a car that has been involved in an accident.

New car registrations

Statistics on the number of new passenger car registrations (passenger cars) January – September 2021.

Number of registrations
Source: ADAC

Making vehicle purchases more secure

The Auto Blockchain largely prevents certain car dealers from providing untrue information about second-hand cars. It ensures that a car dossier is complete. Security is particularly important in the car trade. Cardossier CEO Füglistaler: “Buying a vehicle is often a significant investment. The actual history of the respective vehicle, however, is rarely presented without gaps and can be transparently traced.” Hidden damage in particular could lead to financial losses and a lot of hassle later on. All persons and institutions involved in the car trade receive more security thanks to Auto Blockchain. This is because the blockchain is a decentralized database. This stores the entered data on several servers. At the same time, however, the data can be accessed simultaneously by many users. Data that has already been entered cannot be deleted again.

The research partners of Cardossier

Cardossier’s initial research partners are major Swiss players in the vehicle market such as amag and mobility. But also insurance companies like AXA or the Swiss canton Aargau are involved. The companies Auto-i-dat AG and AdNovum have already added over 10 million data records to the platform. “We are quite proud to continue contributing high-quality vehicle data to this promising project,” Wolfgang Schinagl, CEO of Auto-i-Dat AG told the media.

Governance with a federalist system

Topics such as “trust,” “data-driven business models,” and “identity management” are important. Governance is also important: The Auto Blockchain project team needs to agree on how to accept new participants. And how to operate the blockchain. Matthias Loepfe: “Alongside this, we are analyzing the governance for the system, sharpening it and implementing it. “Cardossier is aiming for a kind of federalist system. “Perhaps that’s why Switzerland plays a decisive role in blockchain technology, because we have a tradition of this kind of thinking,” says Cardossier CTO Matthias Loepfe.

Auto-Blochchain: launch with the mobile app

The platform consists of numerous smart contracts. The members’ apps are connected to the Cardossier network. The members launch the functionality from their own application or the end customer launches it via their own mobile app or website.

Cardossier-CTO Matthias Loepfe

Perhaps that’s why Switzerland plays a crucial role in blockchain technology, because we have a tradition of this kind of thinking

Cardossier CTO Matthias Loepfe

Wouldn’t a central database be enough?

The question arises as to whether a central database would not suffice. But only a blockchain is capable of significantly reducing friction in business processes. Matthias Loepfe: “A central database has no acceptance and is not goal-oriented. If we worked with a central database, each member would still have their own version of the data in a local database.” It is true that the many versions can be reconciled more easily thanks to digitization. “But separate, non-uniform versions remain.” That’s why Loepfe is convinced, “Only a blockchain, which is actually a distributed database, can solve this problem efficiently.”

Expansion and extension planned

Within the next one to two years, Cardossier plans to involve public authorities to a greater extent. Interesting options could also arise for insurance companies. One conceivable option is the deposit of a digital insurance certificate. This would save insurance companies administrative work. In addition, service and repair certificates could be entered. Initially, only direct Cardossier association members will be able to access the project platform. In a later expansion stage, private individuals will also have access to individual vehicle data. Car owners who use the dossier when selling their vehicles will be able to access individual vehicle data for a fee. Collaboration with online car trading sites also offers new opportunities.

How does cardossier plan to finance itself?

Currently, all members of cardossier pay an annual membership fee of max 30,000 Swiss francs. Association members can show even more commitment through a special platinum membership. This is currently available for a one-time entry fee of 150,000 Swiss francs. As soon as Cardossier takes off, financing is likely to be a key issue. It remains to be seen whether the car blockchain will be able to establish itself in the real market in the future.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly does Cardossier mean and what is it?

Cardossier is, in simple terms, a notebook in which data on an individual vehicle is noted. This can be information on mileage, service, repairs and accidents. The dossier expands as the car ages. Because it writes the data to the blockchain, it is immutable and tamper-proof. All parties involved – authorities, car dealers, buyers, garages, insurance companies – have the certainty that the data is correct.

What is an auto blockchain?

The car blockchain stores all the data on a vehicle. And it does so from the time it is placed on the market to the scrap yard. The entire life cycle of the vehicle is stored. This also includes information on accidents, service data or repairs. The data is tamper-proof thanks to storage in the blockchain. All persons and institutions involved in the car trade receive more security thanks to Auto Blockchain. Cardossier is the first project in the world to use a car blockchain.

Thomas Grether

Journalist | Editor | Entrepreneur & Environmental Scientist.
Main focus: Tokenization | Digital Transformation Processes in Companies | Internet and Web Publishing | Environment

Thomas Grether

Journalist | Redakteur | Unternehmer & Umweltwissenschaftler
Schwerpunkte: Tokenisierung | Digitale Transformationsprozesse in Firmen | Internet und Webpublishing | Umwelt