The world’s first “Truck Wallet” and “Blockchain-enabled Toll Collection System” can save millions of Euros

After having presented our prototype of the “Car Wallet”, we now wish to present our prototype for the “Truck Wallet”, combined with our “Blockchain-enabled Toll Collection System” (TCS)

Intention

If a “Car Wallet” is a feasible, sensible application for letting a car pay for some services itself, we are convinced a “Truck Wallet” makes further sense. As I mentioned in my previous article on the “Car Wallet”, we at Blockchainfirst consider vehicles such as cars or even trucks IoT or IoE (Internet of Everything) devices. Thus it is obvious that even, or especially, a truck should have a digital wallet which pays for necessary services or fees such as toll fees automatically and autonomously. If you consider the substantial effort that truck drivers and logistic companies expend (which in this day and age of connectivity is largely unnecessary) doing something as simple as paying for toll fees or recording their driving time, it is clear (at least to us) that blockchain technology can not only simplify, but also vastly improve upon the current traditional and outdated system.

Mission

Blockchainfirst’s mission is to develop real applications based on IoT and Blockchain technology. We wish to develop these primarily for non-professionals and not just engineers, in order to show how this technology can be used and implemented. At the same time, we want to also demonstrate how today’s technology is in many cases outdated and can be replaced by blockchain and IoT-based systems. With our proof of concept of the “Truck Wallet”, together with a blockchain-enabled “Toll Collection System” (TCS), we wish to illustrate how much easier a truck driver’s day-to-day work, the work of logistics companies and governmental toll systems’ operation and supervision can be — and how much money can be saved.

What does “Truck Wallet” mean ?

The “Truck Wallet” is basically an electronic wallet with a Wallet Address based on a so-called “smart contract”. The owner of the truck can add credit to this wallet with cryptocurrencies such as Ether. Physically, i.e. on the hardware side, the “Truck Wallet” consists of our mobile Ethan BIoT© Computer with a built-in cellular 4G modem for mobile communication, a GPS Sensor for capturing the position of the truck, an NFC Reader which authenticates a truck driver’s identity and validates his driving license and a special RFID Tag for long-distance reading of the Wallet Address by the TCS (Toll Collection System).

With this Truck Wallet the following is possible:

  1. The Truck can pay autonomously for services such as toll fees.
  2. The Truck Wallet captures important data such as the truck driver’s “driving time and rest periods” and stores this data into the blockchain via smart contract.
  3. The Truck Wallet keeps track of the validity of the truck driver’s driving license by way of his Blockchain Identity Card.

… and much more! I’m going to publish more details regarding this in another article.

But why should a truck need to have a “Truck Wallet” ?

Currently, logistics companies have to deal with a lot of unnecessary bureaucratic and administrative rules, regulations and processes, which are a waste of time, money and resources. If a truck is fitted with a Truck Wallet, the whole payment and validation process for toll fees and the like becomes streamlined, more efficient and comes at less of a cost.

To keep track of and capture the important data of a truck driver’s “driving time and rest periods”, which is required by the regulations and laws of government and which ensures road safety, is a complicated and complex undertaking for both truck drivers and logistics companies; they also have to keep this data up to date and safe from tampering, human error or otherwise.

On the one hand, the “Truck Wallet” acts as the fundamental technology for letting the truck perform specific tasks such as the automatic, autonomous payment of toll fees, and on the other hand to capture crucial data such as “driving time and rest periods” and to store it into the blockchain. With our “Truck Wallet” we have made the first step.

Furthermore, the auditing of this data is a built-in feature of the blockchain — it’s part of its “nature”, so to speak.
Prototype of our Ethan BIoT Truck Wallet© with Driver Identity Reader
Driver Identity Card (sample) for the identification at the “Truck Wallet”

What does “Blockchain-enabled Toll Collection System” mean ?

In order to enable a truck or a car to pay for some services such as toll fees it is necessary to have an automatic, autonomous “cashier” on the other side. There are two ways we’ve implemented this “cashier” in our Toll Collection System.

  1. GPS-based. If the vehicle enters a particular area which is marked as chargeable, e.g. a parking space, the “Truck Wallet” pays the fee automatically and autonomously.
  2. RFID-based. RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification and is a mature technology. The Truck Wallet has a special RFID Tag located on the front window. A long-range RFID Reader at particular locations on the highway and on streets (city toll) can read the content (Wallet Address) of this special tag.

Both ways can be used depending on the circumstances and application case. If either a payable GPS position/area is detected or the RFID Tag is read by a RFID Reader (TCS), the Truck Wallet pays the fee automatically. If the Truck Wallet runs out of money while the truck is on the highway, the driver gets a notification to recharge the wallet. Recharging the “Truck Wallet” can naturally also be made remotely by the logistic company.

What are the benefits of such a Truck Wallet ?

  1. With a Truck Wallet the current Toll Collection System in Germany can save up to 40% in maintenance costs.
  2. Collection of “driving and rest times” via our Truck Wallet can save logistics companies up to 70% of IT systems costs
  3. Monitoring driving times and toll fees by the government and police is much easier than ever before.
  4. The truck driver can save himself a lot of bureaucratic work and time while on the road.
Prototype of our Toll collection System. (Left: Industrial Outdoor Computer and RFID Antenna)
Special RFID Tag on the truck’s front window

Where we are right now

Together with the “Blockchain-enabled Toll Collection System”, the “Truck Wallet” is currently an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). At the current stage, we are testing the autonomous payment process for the toll fee. The next step is identifying the truck driver via our “Ethan Identity Card” and capturing the “driving times and rest periods”, which is a federal statute (law) in Germany. Of course there is still a long way to go for such a “Truck Wallet” to find its way to logistics companies and until it is officially tested and accepted by the government. However, the first steps have been made and with our functional prototypes everyone can already try out and test the technology today.

Once we begin, we will never give up.

To be continued…