Using blockchain to compute residual values appears to be unfolding in China with a high-line brand that often heavily depends on the metric.

According to a recent news release, PlatON has developed a bespoke blockchain-based vehicle residual value management platform for the used-car business line of Beijing Mercedes-Benz Sales Service Co. (BMBS). Officials with the global privacy-preserving computing network explained the platform will store static data and dynamic data, which will be used automatically to compute a vehicle’s residual value throughout its lifecycle.

“From electric vehicles to driverless cars, emerging technologies have come to rapidly shape the trajectory of innovation in the automotive industry to a model that champions greater security and sustainability,” PlatON chief strategy officer Ada Xiao said.

“With over 6.5 million used cars in China traded in the first half of the year alone, we hope that our collaboration with BMBS will highlight the need for more sophisticated data collection systems to accurately monitor the value of the vehicles comprising China’s substantial used car market,” Xiao continued.

PlatON’s blockchain-based platform will be open to all relevant parties in the used car market from Mercedes-Benz and 4s car dealerships to vehicle inspection firms and owners, allowing for the convenient monitoring and auditing of the dynamic residual values of vehicles. In China, authorized dealerships are known as 4s car dealerships that offer four core services: sales, spare parts, servicing and surveying. According to the China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), the number of 4s car dealerships in the country had increased to 29,664 by the end of 2018.

PlatON explained its emphasis on privacy-preserving mechanisms will help to ensure that all data stored on the blockchain is adequately encrypted, allowing for the safe transmission and storage of sensitive data without compromising privacy.

The collaboration between PlatON and automaker was born out of the project’s participation in Startup Autobahn Batch 3, an innovation platform powered by Daimler Innovation Technology in China. With the goal of mentoring and incubating global tech startups that look to develop products in the mobility sector, Startup Autobahn provides the technical mentorship and automotive expertise over the course of 100 days to help these projects successfully pilot and deploy a production-ready solution.

Startup Autobahn is the open innovation platform initiated by Daimler, aiming to combine the tech expertise of Silicon Valley and the best of German engineering. It unites global tech startups with industry giants. Startup Autobahn runs in several countries including Germany, the U.S., China, India, Singapore and South Africa.