Automated Truck Payments — Commerzbank and DaimerAG to Launch Blockchain Initiative
Automotive giant Daimler AG is all set to launch automated payments for its line of commercial trucks.
As Germany’s second-largest bank, Commerzbank is taking the responsibility to handle the financial and technological aspects of the project.
The pilot project is being handled through blockchain technology. The partners are using the blockchain platform Corda to power the required operations.
Over the past few decades, Daimler AG and its subsidiary Daimler Trucks have become known for their focus on improving their vehicles and the logistical systems powered through them. This new payment system is part of a bigger plan to make the manufacturer’s trucks more efficient.
Daimler AG and Commerzbank Are Using Blockchain to Their Advantage
As revealed through official channels, the automated payments project is utilizing blockchain technology to power its core operations.
By using the technology, Daimler and Commerzbank ensure that the same financial security and verification measures associated with popular cryptocurrencies are implemented in their own operations.
The system works through layered systems, where different compelling components come together to make automated payments possible. This includes a channel for deposits, a mode of transfer, and a process to execute payments without human involvement.
Overall, the system ensures that transporters and truck drivers are operating these vehicles through a seamless experience which goes beyond the aspect of comfortable driving.
The initiative is certainly an important one because it shows the utility and importance of the blockchain in the present and in the future. It shows how the blockchain can help to keep a record of payments that all parties trust and can rely on.
We’ll investigate how it works and the value it can bring to the transportation ecosystem.
What Problem Do Automated Payments Solve for Self-Driving Vehicles?
In Daimler’s current model of trucks, these vehicles must stop at gas or charging stations to replenish their fuel or batteries on their route. Of course, this is to make sure that they don’t run out of fuel in the middle of a trip. It is something that is essential to any vehicle and cannot be ruled out in the case of modern trucks either.
But that is where modern trucks must depend on the driver to manage funds, verify payments, and provide the required facility to the vehicle. In other words, it disrupts the overall comfortable experience that these trucks promise to their owners and drivers alike.
Even though their trucks are already great examples of technology, the owners and drivers must execute manual payment processes for simple actions such as refueling. Rummaging through their wallets for fuel cards and loyalty cards is a norm for any driver and doing so every day is also part of the equation.
The process isn’t limited to refueling or recharging. It also applies to situations such as truck tolls where drivers need to make micropayments. It also extends to freight processes where drivers or owners must process manual documentation on a frequent basis.
By automating this whole system and digitizing it for the owners and drivers’ overall comfort, Daimler Trucks is hoping to achieve an edge over its competitors. Through automated payments and digitized processes, the company is aiming to surpass the standards of quality that drivers have come to expect of its high-end trucks.
As a result, drivers could focus on the actual task of driving their vehicles and making timely deliveries instead of worrying about keeping their cash and cards in check for their next stop. At the same time, logistic companies could ensure that their contracted drivers have the resources they always need in order to complete a trip without any issues.
How are Automated Payments Going to Work?
The pilot project by Daimler Trucks and Commerzbank effectively addresses the pain points mentioned above.
At the core of the system, a Truck-ID works as a digital identification that is unique to each truck. Ideally, this Truck-ID would identify trucks against their payments, freight papers, as well as leasing documentation. It will essentially work as a digital signature that is unique to each truck, which would also help other machines identify between different trucks to process their own data accurately.
When it comes to automated payments, this Truck-ID connects to a Truck Wallet that secures cryptographic information of funds that are secured for each truck. Owners or drivers could store their funds in this Truck Wallet at their comfort. They could also save their loyalty cards or fuel cards digitally to make their lives easier.
The payment system and the Truck Wallet are designed on the Corda blockchain. They are being powered by Commerzbank’s through its main incubator research and development unit. The blockchain system connects to Daimler’s Truck Data Center, which is the central process control for its Mercedes-Benz Actros line.
The system has been designed in a manner where truck drivers and owners could convert their fiat currency such as euros into “e-euros”. This way, they are paying participating vendors using fiat currency, without any need to obtain cryptocurrency tokens.
When implemented, this blockchain payment system would always basically eliminate the need for carrying cash or cards. Participating gas and charging stations, registration spots, and even truck contractors could utilize the Truck ID and Truck Wallet to process their related transactions by communicating with the vehicle through Wi-Fi.
According to Daimler and Commerzbank, this communication between devices and vehicles opens doors to possibilities that would digitize the whole truck driving experience. From leasing the truck to handling freight information, the system could handle it all.
A Test Transaction Has Been Made
While it is being termed as a pilot project, it was also mentioned by Daimler that the initial test proved to be successful and let the partners process an automated payment at an electric charging station.
With the automated payment now successfully processed, Daimler aims to take this project forward with Commerzbank in order to work towards achieving the other use cases of Truck-ID and Truck Wallet
A timeline for public launch of the system has not been defined. Since the project is in its pilot phase, it is likely that it would take a long time before being rolled out by Daimler for public usage.
The ZB Group is aware that automation is not a possibility but an inevitability. Understanding the intersection between automation, blockchain and crypto assets will be crucial in this dynamic macroeconomic environment.
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