Blockchain technology is the talk of the tech town, and with reason. The security, transparency and ability to add data quickly and easily holds a lot of potential, especially in the automotive industry. VINchain is leading the pack with an innovative app and onboard diagnostic device, that provides real-time vehicle data, and opportunities for dealerships to grow.
Technology is changing the world around us at a rapid rate. This is causing industries like the automotive industry to evolve, especially for dealers, who are faced with changing customer needs and increased expectations. However, for those dealers who are ready and able to evolve with the times, this technological revolution presents immense growth opportunities.
BIG DATA & THE CONNECTED CAR ECONOMY
In the current Information Age, data is everything. Dealerships rely on data to guide functions from marketing to point-of-sale transactions, to servicing vehicles. Big data has also changed consumer behavior and expectations from their vehicles and dealerships. Consumers expect their vehicles to tell them when something is wrong, what is wrong, and when it is time for a service. They expect smartphone apps to find a nearby service center, book an appointment, remind them of the appointment, and provide the service center with a run-down of potential problems. They want connected vehicles, and connected service centers or dealerships. Big data makes this possible.
A vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number) provides a lot of data about a vehicle, like manufacturer, the factory in which the car was built, model, body type, engine serial number, and when the car was made. The VIN number is linked to all sorts of information provided by sources such as insurance companies and government agencies like the US Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A vehicle’s VIN gives access to information such as repairs, mileage, service history, and whether the car had been in an accident, making a car’s VIN extremely important in the connected car economy.
THE BEAUTY OF BLOCKCHAIN
A blockchain is places data into ‘blocks’. Each block, or sets of information, is represented by a number, called a hash value, or digital fingerprint. The blocks are cryptographically linked, with each block containing the hash from the previous block, as well as a timestamp. This chain of blocks (blockchain) provides a robust and secure way to store data, as it generally resistant to data being modified.
While security is a big feature for dealers, one of the main advantages of using VINchain’s blockchain app is the ability to quickly and easily access data pooled from many different sources. Dealers can also upload data, such as vehicle service data, directly to the blockchain without going through a middleman. When adding information, the dealer will be rewarded fairly, which in turn will allow cheaper access to vehicle history information. As dealers and other sources continue to add data to the blockchain, it grows into the most in-depth resource of vehicle history available.
VINchain offers a dealership app and onboard diagnostics device, or OBD, that is customized according to the dealership or customer’s exact needs. The OBD is installed in a vehicle and provides real-time diagnostic feedback of everything that’s going on in the car, from wear condition of parts to engine performance and fuel economy. The data is communicated directly to the app, eliminating the need for things like emails, phone calls or text messages.
The app allows dealerships to monitor vehicles and offer reminders about upcoming services and recommendations. The device offers geolocation and roadside assistance services, as well as remote control of the vehicle in certain situations. Dealers can also reach out to drivers to request data and make offers, which drivers can provide at their own discretion. Every time a driver or client provides information, they are rewarded, and the database of information gets expanded.
ARE WE READY FOR THE CONNECTED CAR ECONOMY?
The short answer is, yes. An estimated 90% of Americans live in a household with at least one smart device, with 60% of these users using their smart device to interact with automotive customer experience. These numbers are growing every year, making it increasingly important for dealerships. Despite this high interaction, and app expectations, very few vehicle owners actually use apps and websites to make appointments. This presents a major opportunity for dealerships — taking customers from interested to interacting, from interest to sale.
VINchain’s rewards system is an incentive for customers to not only use their smart devices, but also make contributions to the car history database, which will ultimately serve them in the long run.