Blockchain startup Filament announced Tuesday that it is working with the University of Nevada, Reno on an autonomous vehicle research initiative.
The work will see the development of new standards for blockchain-based connected devices, also known as the internet of things (IoT), as they relate to work on self-driving cars. The idea is that blockchain could form part of a technological backbone that connects those vehicles to a wider network, and it’s an area that major automakers like GM and BMW are actively investigating as well.
“We are excited to collaborate with the University’s Intelligent Mobility initiative on advancing this cutting-edge vehicle-to-infrastructure communication innovation. This is an important project for all cities preparing for autonomous vehicles as it will demonstrate how secure distributed ledger technology combined with connected, driverless cars and their surroundings can become a trusted reality,” Allison Clift-Jennings, Filament’s CEO, said in a statement.
The University of Nevada’s Intelligent Mobility effort is focused on several areas, including autonomous cars and synchronized transportation, as well as the infrastructure intended to bridge it all together.
The initiative is being supported by both the private and public sector in Nevada, including the cities of Reno and Carson City, as well as the state government itself.
Filament, which focuses on the development of hardware products for use in blockchain-based connected device networks, is backed by a number of companies that have bet on or would have an interest in a future of connected vehicles, including the venture arms for Intel and JetBlue. Communications conglomerate Verizon, through its venture arm, led Filament’s $15 million funding roundin 2017.