Infineon and XAIN to develop Blockchain Nodes for Vehicle Microcontrollers

Infineon Technologies and XAIN have announced their collaboration for the implementation of blockchain technology for the automotive sector.

With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the first Infineon Automotive Cybersecurity Forum in Munich means that XAIN technology will be directly integrated into Infineon microcontrollers. Together, the companies plan to jointly develop, test, and bring to market innovative automotive applications.

“Cybersecurity is crucial for the data-driven mobility of the future”, says Peter Schiefer, President of Infineon’s Automotive Division. “Blockchain technology has enormous potential in this regard, but its use requires a high degree of coordination between the selected blockchain methodology and the security hardware installed in the car itself. We will be working together with XAIN to achieve this level of configuration.”

In a blockchain network, information validity is constantly checked by other network participants, thus providing additional protection against data manipulation. When applying these concepts to automotive technology, and combining them with an access delegation framework such as the one proposed by XAIN, unprecedented functionalities can be achieved.

In essence, new services become enabled by giving users the ability to flexibly grant access rights to specific parts of their machine data or function. These include automated payment transactions, keyless vehicle access, flexible car sharing, and other on-demand services such as in-trunk delivery or telematic insurance policies that leverage customer driving behavior data for pricing determinations.

Technical challenges

However, creating new data blocks in the blockchain is still a challenge for traditional microprocessors, such as those used in devices which control vehicles. Due to the high computational requirements, the so-called “mining” process has traditionally been reserved for high-performance processors. However, XAIN has developed a new hybrid client structure, which is particularly well-suited to resource-constrained devices such as microcontrollers in automobiles.

“We aim to turn cars into fully-fledged network participants”, says Leif-Nissen Lundbæk, founder and CEO of XAIN AG. “As well as being important for offline and real-time capabilities, this also enables a particularly high level of privacy protection in connection with AI technologies. It ensures that private data for machine learning is kept exclusively in local storage. The goal of our collaboration with Infineon is to advance the use of XAIN’s AI technology in cars.”

Demo showing how access rights to vehicle functions can be securely and efficiently delegated in a remote manner via a smartphone app with the help of an AURIX™ microcontroller

Introducing Demo

At the Infineon Automotive Cybersecurity Forum, Infineon and XAIN have presented their first joint demo. This demo shows how access rights to vehicle functions can be securely and efficiently delegated in a remote manner via a smartphone app with the help of an AURIX™ microcontroller via a blockchain network.

This technical approach could, for example, enable car sharing without a platform or back office, in which each participant could spontaneously choose to share their car with others whilst at the same time retaining full control over user permissions. For example, a network participant may lend her vehicle to other participants under the enforced condition that they drive under a certain speed, or within an allotted time frame.

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