The Department of Transportation in the US is looking for research into how blockchain can be used to improve highway administration in the nation.
According to an announcement by the Federal Highway Administration, it is seeking technical proposals for blockchain applications. It expects to issue four to six contracts in this area. The agency intends to spend a total of $4 million for the proposals and it may offer multiple awards for one requirement.
Certificate Management & Freight Data Analytics
According to the announcement, the FHWA is looking for four specific use cases for the blockchain. One area that the authority is looking into is certificate management for vehicle to vehicle, and vehicle to infrastructure management solutions. The solutions can be used to monitor cars. While no details are provided, the solutions that the agency are looking for might include identifying vehicles based on the standards created by the MOBI alliance.
Another area of interest by the FHWA is managing freight data. Currently, blockchain firms use IoT devices to connect freight with the blockchain. According to the FHWA, the platform it’s seeking should provide the government with anonymous and secure data related to freight management. This includes routing data, pickup, and drop off time, delivery goods confirmation and the transfer of goods. According to the announcement, this data will be helpful with public investment decisions and the creation of appropriate policies.
Infrastructure Data Collection & Blockchain Car Wallets
Another use case for which the FHWA is looking for proposals is road asset information. For instance, some roads and those under construction have different capacities for traffic. Some road surfaces are not able to tolerate heavy traffic. According to the FHWA announcement, they need a solution that allows proper geo-fencing and routing of certain segments of the highway.
Finally, the FHWA is seeking to explore high pricing using the blockchain. Some blockchain firms and automakers have begun developing car wallets, which can be used to pay toll fees. With the use of blockchain technology, the transport industry will be able to integrate dynamic and auction-based methods for congestion charges and charges during peak hours. This is especially so for commercial trucks, which might encourage them to stay off the road during the day and travel at night or when the roads do not have a lot of traffic.
Traditionally, the blockchain has been used by the fintech industry and to secure cryptocurrencies. However, the transportation industry is realizing that this technology can help protect data and improve efficiency on the roads.
While the US does not have a national blockchain policy, this has not stopped various federal agencies from adopting the technology. Even the US military is looking into various use cases for the blockchain. With such investments, this will help to boost the blockchain sector in the US and this could eventually lead to a national blockchain policy in the nation. Any firm that invests in technology today will no doubt reap big in the future.
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