Mercedes Benz corporation and startup Circulor presented a pilot project on the blockchain. The project intends to track the supply chain of cobalt, for understanding the volume of carbon emissions.
A joint project between Mercedes and Circulor is part of the Startup Autobahn initiative to create a new generation of cars. As the companies specified, they will use the blockchain to track the level of exhaust emissions into the atmosphere and the amount of recycled material from which manufacturers will make batteries. Mercedes added that the data will be needed to develop a new car with zero carbon emissions.
Also, the system will track the supply chain of cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the 2017 UN data, about 40,000 children are used in cobalt mining in this country, which contradicts ethical working conditions.
Thus, in a blockchain-based system, it will be possible to verify the origin of raw materials and the working conditions of workers, which is essential for large automakers. Mercedes will be able to check whether its partners comply with the principles of social and environmental responsibility, as well as human rights.
It is worth noting that Mercedes is not the first car manufacturer to introduce blockchain technology in its business processes. This year, Ford, Volkswagen, and Volvo also plan to launch a pilot project on the IBM blockchain for tracking cobalt processing. Besides, in September, the Indian automaker Tata Motors announced its intention to use blockchain solutions for the design, assembly, and operation of vehicles.