Watch Now

Filament breaks out blockchain enterprise solution and Daimler partnership

Circa June 2018: Freightliner Semi Tractor Trailer Trucks Lined up for Sale. Freightliner is owned by Daimler AG Trucks III. (Photo: Shutterstock)

It’s been a big week for Filament. During the same week that they announced their Blocklet TVA product, they did so with a flourish. They both demonstrated their product at the MarketWaves18 Demo Day on Monday, and the following day announced a partnership with Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) [NYSE: DDAIF]. When it comes to enterprise blockchain solutions from startups in the BiTA community, the hits just keep on coming.

First, Filament is a provider of comprehensive enterprise blockchain solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT). Their Blocklet for Trusted Vehicle Applications (TVA) is available as part of Filament’s Blocklet Kit. Blocklet TVA also happens to be the industry’s first end-to-end automotive blockchain platform that allows vehicles to participate directly in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs). 

Jake Ingman, head of product, and Chris Wood, head of business development, demonstrated Blocklet at Demo Day. They revealed their hardware blockchain wallet, that allows industrial machines and IoT devices to write directly to the blockchain. Filament’s Blocklet has an automotive blockchain application designed for connected vehicles that captures telemetry, safety, and performance data from a vehicle’s diagnostic portal. The technology opens up opportunities for usage-based insurance, dynamic leasing, and peer-to-peer asset rentals. The hardware makes it possible for automotive, freight, and transportation companies to create new, large-scale connected-vehicle services and smart contract applications on top of a trusted blockchain foundation.

Then, Tuesday, DTNA, announced its partnership with Filament. Specifically, it plans to establish a peer-to-peer connection platform for remanufactured components using blockchain technology to automate and streamline its aftermarket remanufacturing operations. As a first step in the plan to utilize blockchain to improve commercial vehicle maintenance, DTNA has recently completed a proof of concept project leveraging a proprietary USB device created by Filament.

Filament’s Blocklet device will be used to enable transparent and immutable data records, secure transactions, and execute smart contracts within a blockchain. The technology digitalizes distribution of ledger technology for tracing, tracking, and verification of shipping and transaction.

“As a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer, DTNA has many parties that need to track and share data concerning the status, condition, timing and more, associated with our vehicles, major components and other spare parts,” said Lori Heino-Royer, director of business development at Daimler Trucks North America. “Our vision is to provide full transparency along our supply chain for faster and more efficient operations. We are working with Filament on this project, because its new Blocklet USB device will save us a lot of time and money since it makes it possible for us to plug into our legacy systems and begin automating and recording the supply chain processes and transactions in a blockchain.”

“The Internet of Things and blockchain are a powerful combination. We believe this is especially true in the rapidly changing automotive and transportation landscape,” said Allison Clift-Jennings, CEO of Filament. “Blockchain technology gives connected machines including passenger vehicles, long haul trucks and construction equipment, a voice of immutable truth that goes well beyond data gathering. Blocklet TVA helps corporations with connected vehicles quickly understand and tap into the potential of transparent, edge-authenticated and distributed data which will enable the next generation of intelligent mobility.” 

To address the specific connectivity, identity, and security requirements of the automotive sector, Blocklet TVA combines the unique features of DLT-enabled connected vehicle applications with its end-to-end blockchain hardware, creating a turnkey product for vehicle integration. 

As noted, Filament is also a member of BiTA. “Our goal at BiTA is to bring together leading companies that have a vested interest in the development of blockchain technology for the freight industry,” said Chris Burruss, president of BiTA, at the announcement of their membership in March. “Filament’s extensive standards experience and technology expertise is extremely valuable as we work to create transportation-specific blockchain standards that will move the market forward.”

As a member of BiTA, Filament brings its strength in developing decentralized protocols and open standards as well as its blockchain-native microchip to help create a common secure blockchain framework, educate the market and form relationships for implementations within the freight industry.

Filament’s products incorporate several standard hardware elements such as a dual-core microcontroller with BLE capabilities, GPS, cellular LTE modem, a 9-axis motion fusion sensor and a temperature, humidity, and pressure sensor. As freight organizations seek new ways to compete in the digital world, blockchain makes it possible to streamline and improve operations, addressing many of the industry’s challenges including tracking and verifying shipped goods, resolving disputes, and reducing administration costs. The nascent blockchain technology is gaining maturity with increasing speed.