A new startup company has launched, with the goal of revolutionizing vehicle title transfers.

Cario Inc. is a blockchain-based platform that founder and CEO Nathan Hecht said is designed to solve one of the auto industry’s most difficult pain points.

“There are over 276 million vehicles on the road today in the U.S.,” he said. “Not a single one can exchange ownership without transfer of title. And yet those transactions are based on a technology which in many cases has barely changed since the 1950s.

“The title itself is a piece of paper, each state has its own platform, and title transfer is slow, inefficient, expensive and vulnerable to fraud. But with Cario, we are changing that by digitizing the vehicle title itself, supported by a distributed ledger platform for radically quicker, cheaper and safer automotive transactions.”

Hecht said the inefficiency of manual title transfers is “bad for the consumer and can be devastating for a business,” and touted the benefits of digital titles and a distributed ledger-based infrastructure.

“The transformation of the title from a physical document to a digital asset unlocks value throughout the industry,” he said, “not least the billions of dollars of payments trapped in the automotive economy waiting for transfer of vehicle ownership.”

Cario said its “next generation” title platform changes the manual processes of title transfer, lien addition/release, registration and vehicle management into a purely digital workstream conducted through a hybrid private/public blockchain-based networked solution.

Cario executive vice president Jamie Solomon said the platform allows all participants in the title transfer and vehicle management process – DMVs, dealers, wholesalers, commercial lenders, captive lenders, insurance companies, taxing authorities, auto repair firms and consumers – to “seamlessly participate in any title and registration transaction,” reducing a process that can take 30-90 days to a matter of minutes.

“Cario also allows a customer to receive a digital record of title in the form of an NFT,” he said. “This record is unique, permanent, highly secure and publicly verifiable by anyone.”