Auto IQ weekly news, including Toyota and Waymo



Tom Phillips
03/20/2020

When we began our list of automotive industry factory closures and event cancellations as a result of coronavirus, we had no idea quite how extensive the disruption would become.

We’ve updated the list as the situation has evolved, but the shear amount of people affected has been truly shocking.

All at Automotive IQ are conscious that livelihoods are on the line, and families will suffer as a result, and we hope that things get back to normal as soon as possible. Until then, please stay safe and take advice from reliable sources about next steps.

Our news roundup this week is below:

Toyota commits to Blockchain

In April 2019, Toyota launched its Blockchain Lab, working across the core company and five other divisions to figure out the best uses for blockchain technology throughout its global network.

As a result of the Blockchain Lab's work, four main usages of the technology have been identified by Toyota thus far:

  • Customers – ID sharing and contract digitalization inside and outside of the Group, improvement of personal information management, and utilization of points services
  • Vehicles – improvement of various services and creating new services through data accumulation and use of all information concerning vehicle life cycles
  • Supply chain – improving business processes efficiency and traceability by recording and sharing information on parts manufacturing, shipping, etc.
  • Value digitalization – utilization for diversification of financing methods through digitalization of various assets such as vehicles and various rights, and by that means, building medium to long term relationships with customers and investors

This week, Toyota announced that it will increase the size and scope of collaborations between its Lab and other firms outside its business. It will wrap some activities into its new Woven City project in Japan, too, proving that blockchain for automotive is tech to watch…

Waymo self-driving cars still operational

waymo-truck-pacifica

Waymo is currently in the process of testing its self-driving tech on real roads in Phoenix, AZ, and around California. In response to Covid-19, it has canned tests which require its vehicles to have a safety driver on hand.

However, in a media statement, it confirmed that: “Our fully driverless operations in Phoenix will continue for now within our early rider program, along with our local delivery and trucking efforts.”

Although predicting a global pandemic is beyond unlikely, autonomous driving technology is proving virus-proof for now, keeping people mobile in uncertain times, and getting deliveries to people in need. An uptick in interest is sure to follow.

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