In brief

In brief

  • Accenture partnered with Blockwall and the Blockchain Research Institute Europe to evaluate the impact of DLT in the automotive industry.
  • The DLT Automotive Framework provides a comprehensive overview of 24 of the most important DLT use cases for automotive.
  • A panel of 53 DLT experts was consulted to understand the present maturity and potential business impact of each of these use cases.
  • This study reveals an innovation dilemma for automakers and provides clear strategic recommendations towards DLT.

How automakers can break through the legacy barrier and realize the full value of DLT

The Study at a Glance: Interest in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) has never been higher. Most people know it from its Blockchain cryptocurrency manifestation. In fact, DLT is much broader—and so are the opportunities for industrial companies. In particular, DLT’s transparency and security creates a wealth of new possibilities for automakers and their suppliers.

Experts regard DLT as the second most disruptive technology today – only behind AI.

The catch? The disruptive nature of DLT creates an innovation dilemma for many automakers. The technology is not well suited to incremental innovation or inward-looking initiatives. Its value comes from an open, outward-looking strategy that emphasizes broad ecosystem collaboration. But automakers’ existing systems, processes and organizations typically create a legacy frontier that hinders this kind of approach. And without a clear sense of the potential returns, many have been reluctant to commit to the radical transformation required.


of experts expect DLT to be a source for competitive advantage in the next five years.


of experts regard OEM legacy barriers (processes, systems, mindset) as the major obstacle for DLT adoption.

Accenture’s DLT Automotive Framework will help the automotive industry clarify the future DLT opportunity. It’s a comprehensive overview of 24 of the most important DLT use cases for automotive, categorized by their applicability to enterprise operations, new products and services, and customer engagement.

Together with Blockwall and the Blockchain Research Institute Europe, we also consulted a panel of 53 DLT experts to understand the present maturity and potential business impact of each of these use cases. The results have been specified and validated in multiple in-depth interviews with experts from various backgrounds such as OEMs, suppliers, start-ups and research institutes. Four key insights stood out:

Enterprise focused

Mature DLT initiatives today are inward-looking and enterprise-focused, reflecting a lack of industry standards and collaboration to date.

Vehicle-related DLT use cases

Value for automotive lies in emerging DLT use cases: V2V and V2X communication, digital vehicle passports, and parts provenance ledgers.

Electric vehicles

Electric vehicles represent an ideal greenfield opportunity for exploring DLT use cases like open charging and smart grid.


Collaboration is the key to unlocking DLT’s value, especially in enabling ecosystem plays like shared mobility.

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To break past the legacy frontier and open up the opportunities DLT offers, we recommend automakers develop a dual strategy towards DLT:


Drive forward with the identification, prioritization, iteration and scaling up of key automotive use cases, leveraging start-up flexibility where appropriate.


Lay the foundation for the future widespread adoption of DLT, including acquiring the right talent, establishing the right organization and working with emerging industry DLT ecosystems.

By taking action today, automakers can resolve the innovation dilemma which has so far held DLT back in their industry. It’ won’t be easy, of course. But the potential rewards are huge.

About the Authors

Axel Schmidt

Senior Managing Director – Global Industry Sector Lead Automotive

Christian Kleikamp

Managing Director – Global Automotive Strategy Lead

Matthias Niehoff

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy

Christian Koeck

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy


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