A new technology platform launched today is laying the groundwork for a future in which people can jointly own a car with other people. 

Tesseract is an integrated mobility platform which logs vehicles and trips and settles transactions between owners, operators and third-party providers automatically. 

Underpinned by blockchain technology, the EY-created platform allows ownership to be flexible, on a full or fractional share basis. 

EY hopes the technology will create new revenue streams for transportation providers, open up the automotive industry to modern-day blockchain technology and give people who could not previously afford a car the chance to own a share in one. 

"We want Tesseract to break down barriers to entry for all stakeholders, provide the means for mobility as a service and facilitate a truly integrated ecosystem that puts consumers first in the future mobility marketplace," said EY Global Automotive and Transportation Leader Randy Miller.

The technology behind Tesseract will not only allow for car ownership to be shared: through the platform, expensive assets such as batteries and charging infrastructure can also be crowdfunded, with investors able to earn money based on others' usage. 

What is blockchain?

Blockchain technology can be understood as a database that maintains a shared list of records. The ledger records every digital transaction exactly as it occurs, with each record encrypted. Every encrypted record, or block, includes the history of every block that preceded it, timestamped to the second. 

In essence, this means that every member of the network can see each transaction, but no single member or organisation controls the data. 

The technology, which underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has multiple real-world applications, from tracking commodity sales to providing access to medical or land registry records. 

Automotive industry disruption

"The time has come for blockchain to reshape the automotive industry," said EY Global Innovation Leader Paul Brody.

"Using blockchain for automotive services permits true peer-to-peer interactions between owners with minimal infrastructure requirements. Data can be stored permanently and managed securely while automated permission and transaction processing will be made much easier.”

EY Malta country managing partner Ronald Attard also has high hopes for the technology. 

"Blockchain has the power create new business models and make a great many things more secure, accountable and efficient: financial services, energy, trade finance, cybersecurity, and government services to name a few."

"We have been raising awareness on the potential the technology could offer Malta for over 2 years and are firmly behind the government’s ambition to turn Malta into a leading global blockchain hub," he said. 

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