SAP Innovation Expert Sees Bright Future for Blockchain-Based Intelligent Transportation
By Bradley Berman — Lead Editor
The automotive industry is facing four disruptive technologies at the same time — vehicle automation, electric powertrains, car connectivity, and new mobility services. With this high degree of change, the key to unleashing true innovation is to create a common shared technology framework that allows enterprises of all kinds — from mainstream automakers to small startups — to fully participate in the new, quickly evolving mobility future.
Priyanka Khaitan, the most recent technology leader to join our advisory board, understands the intersection between outside-the-box innovation and old-school business processes. As head of emerging technologies at SAP, she’s in charge of shepherding cutting-edge innovations — such as big data, IoT, predictive analytics, machine learning, and blockchain — into functioning business applications. That’s where the rubber hits the road for industries that need to keep selling current products while figuring out how to survive in a rapidly changing business climate.
The list of automotive enterprises using SAP includes the biggest brands in the business: Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, and Volkswagen. The list also features countless auto suppliers and energy companies. Khaitan is pragmatic about the supply chain software needed by these firms to produce and sell automobiles, but she also knows that they need to be aware of what’s right around the corner; in her words, “a fully automated and democratized network of autonomous vehicles offering services.”
“How is the data stored, structured, modeled, exposed, calculated, aggregated, and returned? There’s a lot of complexity,” Khaitan recently said about SAP’s new voice-recognition help systems. Those are the same tough and vitally important questions that Khaitan will be working through with DAV, our blockchain-based transportation platform.
“Priyanka’s expertise in innovation, integration, and delivery of technology at the enterprise level will help ensure that DAV only delivers viable industry-ready products,” said Noam Copel, chief executive of the DAV Foundation.
On a recent drive on the Autobahn near Frankfurt, Khaitan’s car flashed a message on the dashboard: “Driver Fatigue Warning.” Remarkably, the vehicle’s onboard computers correctly analyzed her driving patterns to determine that she was exhausted after an 11-hour cross-Atlantic flight before hitting Germany’s famous high-speed roadway. Considering her tired state, she slowed down into a lane moving at a safer speed.
“Fast forward to the colossal interconnected network of things,” she said. “Rather than alert me about the obvious, my car will take control and autonomously route me to the nearest rest area. While I rest, the car will order me a coffee, check me into my hotel, find parking, reschedule my meetings, and alert my boss. Heralded by advancements in technologies, we will witness the lines blur between man and machine.”
Khaitan believes these blurred lines will require us to rethink everything. “In a collaborative, connected society, humans and machines will communicate with one another, the environment, and act in concert to accomplish tasks and profoundly influence our very own existence.” Khaitan’s combination of vision and practicality will be invaluable for our work at the DAV Foundation — and for humanity’s greater project of building the Internet of Transportation.