Posted 1 year ago | by Ben Armstrong

General Motors Announces Blockchain-Based Autonomous Vehicle Nav Map

General Motors, a major car manufacturer, has announced a new patent which uses blockchain technology to make autonomous vehicles work. The system integrates vehicle sensors to build a much-improved navigation map for autonomous vehicles.

Although the patent was filed on October 1, 2018, it was recently published on the official site of the US Patent & Trademark Office.

The patent mentions the existing maps are kept dynamic with incurring large costs:

"A system for updating a distributed navigation map for a motor vehicle includes one or more sensors that evaluate and characterize a surrounding around the motor vehicle and a discrepancy detector that identifies differences in the surroundings compared to a known navigation map based on information received from the one or more sensors. The differences are transmitted to a blockchain map network.”

This is another use-case for blockchain. While blockchain technology is often associated with FinTech, it is also at home in many other industries, especially where data fidelity is key. Instructions that guide an automated car can't be compromised, and blockchain is a great way to store data.

General Motors Uses Blockchain!

The General Motors suggested that vehicles could share a collection of data when they drive around in the city, in order to improve the current navigation map and make the blockchain-based navigation map work.

The data is collected in real-time, and it will work with discrepancy detectors that allow the cars and trucks to check the incoming data with existing maps.

Any difference will be detected and then be transmitted to the blockchain network as well as cross-checked in case a similar pattern has been observed by other moving vehicles. According to the patent, the vehicles and mining nodes in the data centers will maintain the network.

Loads of Options for Implementation

Previously, a blockchain-based navigation system was designed by General Motors, and called Super Cruise. While this feature wasn't totally autonomous, it did use blockchain in a similar way.

The Super Cruise feature appeared on semi-automated driving platform for some luxury models from the company. The sharing of collection and processing load for data collection to generate a navigation map is likely to speed up the firm's efforts to roll out its automated driving platform in the US.

Blockchain could also be used in other navigation platforms. General Motors is demonstrating that blockchain can be used in many areas, and can be developed by non-specialist companies as well.