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University of Nevada, Reno Partners with IoT Firm Filament to Develop Driverless Vehicle Blockchain Technology

A project underway at the University of Nevada, Reno is seeking to develop a new blockchain-powered autonomous vehicle. This news comes via a press release earlier today.

The project is a joint effort between Internet of Things (IoT) company Filament and the University of Nevada, Reno and the Nevada Center of Applied Research (NCAR), the latter of which are coordinating the endeavor.

Per the press release, the initiative is specifically designed to improve safety and communication between driverless connected cars and surrounding road infrastructure — a key challenge in the creation of smart cities safe for driverless cars.

NCAR director Carlos Cardillo noted that as more and more internet-enabled cars hit the streets, it is important to focus on ensuring security remains a priority:

“The growth in the number of connected vehicles on roads will lead to an increase in the number of IoT devices, which can potentially create vulnerabilities. Working with Filament as part of Intelligent Mobility will help us to create and validate secured data generated from the many connected LIDAR devices including those in autonomous vehicles that will soon be a common feature in our cities and towns. We believe this can result in a new set of data integrity standards that others can follow when rolling out their own initiatives.”

According to the release, the university plans to launch simulated testing of Filament’s Blocklet blockchain development kit, which the company’s official website describes as a tool to “empower connected machines with transactive value and leverage them for new revenue opportunities through distributed ledger technology (DLT).” The technology will be placed along defined routes — both in the vehicles themselves and as part of the sensor infrastructure — in order to delivery an accurate record of events through the enabling of attested data exchange on the blockchain.

Filament CEO, Allison Clift-Jennings, said that the University of Nevada, Reno’s test vehicles will only accept Blocklet-attested data transmissions, which will protect them from potential bad actors.