Spanish telecommunications provider Telefónica is to become an IT supplier to carmaker Seat, following an agreement signed in the first week of November designed to develop connected car technology, as well as digitalise the supply chain and manufacturing process.

Among the aims of the agreement is the application of 5G connectivity in the car, including applications in autonomous driving. Telefónica is rolling out its 5G networks, which will support device-to-device connections with better capacity, reliability and speed. The companies will also look at potential applications of big data – which includes predictive and behavioural analytics – and blockchain applications, which address cybersecurity issues affecting the connected car, as well as offering potential solutions for parts shipments.

“How big data and blockchains will influence the sector, or how decisive 5G will be for the future of the autonomous and connected car, are a few of the innovations that Telefónica and Seat are going to work on together,” said Luis Miguel Gilpérez (pictured above, right), president of Telefónica Spain.

The cooperation also covers the development and application of industry 4.0 technologies in the vehicle manufacturing process, according to the companies.

“Telefónica and Seat are collaborating on a proof of concept based on blockchain technology to improve the tracking of parts within the supply chain at Martorell factory,” said the companies in a joint statement, adding that systems based the internet of things (IoT), the network of data-connected physical objects, would be used with the purpose of enhancing and streamlining procurement management and supplier relations.

“With this agreement, Seat consolidates itself as a benchmark in the sector’s digitalisation,” said the carmaker’s president, Luca de Meo (pictured above, left). “Joining forces with Telefónica as a strategic partner enables us to take a major step forward in our commitment to offering mobility solutions that make lives easier for the drivers of our vehicles.”

Part of the agreement also provides for the implementation of tools to gather and analyse vehicle data.