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Automobile Wallet Facilitates Mobility-related Payment Processes

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Automobile Wallet Facilitates Mobility-related Payment Processes
Automobile Wallet Facilitates Mobility-related Payment Processes

Video: Automobile Wallet Facilitates Mobility-related Payment Processes

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Ranges and charging cycles are the most exciting topic when it comes to electric cars. But even if a charging station is found, different card and billing systems often prove to be hurdles. To overcome this, ZF has developed the new Car E-Wallet with UBS and Innogy Innovation Hub, which should offer several payment and billing functions.

The Car E-Wallet is intended to allow users to pay “on-the-go” for motorway tolls as well as parking and loading fees. At the same time, it can accept payments, for example from car sharing, the provision of energy for the power grid or for delivery services. The Innogy Innovation Hub has integrated requirements from the charging infrastructure into the system - this should enable the Car E-Wallet to complete the payment process automatically and securely after the battery has been charged.

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Automatic payment process

Like any wallet, the Car E-Wallet must be filled regularly. Users can do this either from their home PC or using a special app. The owner of the Car E-Wallet thus authorizes the car to make payments independently up to a certain limit. If, for example, a toll is due on the morning drive to the office, the car automatically pays the fees and saves time-consuming standing in the queue. The driver is recorded while he stays in the car, at the same time the user receives an update online about all transactions of the Car E-Wallet.

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Suitable for micropayments

With the solution, every user has quick and easy access to the charging infrastructure registered on the blockchain. No registration or log-in procedures are required to use the charging stations. As soon as the connection to the charging station is established, the vehicle batteries are charged - and the fees are paid automatically by the Car E-Wallet.

Inductive charges - for example during a red light phase or on a zebra crossing - can only transfer small amounts of energy into the vehicle, but every kilometer counts when it comes to the range of electric cars. Due to its micropayment function, the Car E-Wallet is able to charge even the smallest payment amounts and thus make the “shop-to-go” more attractive for providers.

Payment flows possible in both directions

In the future, it is planned to design the Car E-Wallet to also accept payments and enable access to the vehicle for third parties. Instead of standing uselessly in the parking lot, cars can be provided with car e-wallets, for example, car sharing portals and accept temporary fees from tenants.

The access regulation also allows other applications. For example, the Car-E-Wallet user can have the trunk of their parked vehicle opened when a defined authentication code - for example on a package - is scanned. Parcel deliveries can be made directly to the vehicle - while protection against unauthorized access remains secure.

The Car E-Wallet should also allow integration into intelligent energy supply systems. In the future, these systems should be able to use blockchain technology in the vehicle to align charging processes based on whether renewable energy is available on the grid. Above all, the vehicle can feed energy back into the network if the user agrees to a corresponding request.

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Secure blockchain technology

The technical basis of the Car E-Wallet is blockchain technology, which allows business transactions to be carried out almost in real time without the need for a central authority or a trustworthy third party. Blockchain technology is based on the fact that all transactions are stored in a virtual, cryptographically secured chain of data blocks - and a list of all users' account balances is created. Because this list is stored on numerous computers and can be checked by all users, the system is considered to be very secure.

The Car E-Wallet is the result of joint innovation work by ZF, UBS and the Innogy Innovation Hub. The partners are planning a field test for 2017. (sh)

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