Empirical development and validation of data-driven business models based on Blockchain technology for the automotive industry in collaboration with Ford Motor Company



Lehrstuhl für Betriebswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Technologie- und Innovationsmanagement


Initial situation:
The Blockchain is one of the best known trends of the past years, which stands as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) behind all crypto currencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin. The potential application possibilities, however, go far beyond the pure transaction of cryptographic currencies. This decentralized database technology makes it possible to carry out transactions in a network openly and tamper-proof. In recent years, numerous use cases have been described, whereby the heterogeneity of the applications makes it difficult to identify the correct Blockchain for the underlying network type. The disruptive effect of DLTs is not only evident in the area of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, etc., but also in the automotive industry. In the digital future, vehicles will communicate with each other and transmit important data about road and vehicle condition as well as driving behavior. For this purpose, suitable communication channels and platforms must be identified to meet the security requirements on which business models can be developed. In future data-driven business models, there is an increasing relevance to document and make data available on mileage, battery status or environmentally and safety-critical components in a tamper-proof and transparent way. Here, the Blockchain has considerable potential, on which new business models can be developed in the automotive industry.
Your assignment:

Blockchains or DLT should not be regarded as a universal solution. There are valid arguments against a universal suitability of DLT for all kinds of new, trust-based business models. For example, the transparent, unalterable documentation of business transactions - which can still be viewed many years later and cannot be deleted unilaterally - is not always in the interest of all potential business partners. DLT can therefore potentially even have a negative effect on the willingness to participate in Blockchain business models. In this respect, use cases must be identified in which the potential of Blockchain justifies the additional expense of implementing and operating a DLT. The evaluation of a potential use case in the automotive industry is carried out with the support of experts and within the frame of an ongoing industrial project with Ford Forschungszentrum (R&D) Aachen GmbH. Depending on personal interest and previous knowledge, different focal points can be set within the following subtasks:

- Potential analysis of Blockchain business models in the automotive industry
- Search for characteristics and attributes of Blockchain technology and business models,
- Building a reference model for the classification of Blockchain-use cases and business models
- Transfer of existing use cases or development of new use cases for the automotive industry
- Implementation and validation of a use case within the framework of an industrial project in collaboration with Ford Forschungszentrum Aachen GmbH

Keywords: Business Model Innovation, Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology, Smart Contracts, Automotive, Digitization, Ecosystems, Internet of Things (IOT)