Major global car producers, BMW, General Motors, Ford, and Renault have joined with other companies to launch the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative.
Also, Bosch, Hyperledger, IOTA, and IBM are part of the project’s 30 strong membership which has been formed to explore the potential of blockchain in the mobility space.
MOBI suggests that the group’s goal is not to create a particular distributed ledger, but create common standards to enable data sharing and make transportation, “safer, more affordable, and widely accessible using blockchain technology.”
The new cooperative aims to enable payments and data-sharing between cars, creating a new digital mobility ecosystem, from ride-sharing to self-driving vehicles and everything in between. MOBI states that it also wants to examine areas such as autonomous cars and ride sharing.
There are other such projects currently operating. French carmaker, Renault, one of the MOBI participants, has joined the R3 research consortium, and German company, Daimler, is part of the Hyperledger project from the Linux Foundation. Also, Japanese maker Toyota has been conducting its own research into utilizing DLT. However, unlike some of these projects, MOBI plans to focus its attention completely on the automotive space and how blockchain can improve it.
Chris Ballinger, CEO of MOBI, sees the new technology as having a huge impact, maintaining that the car is the next “big data battleground. It’s a trillion-dollar prize.” He comments:
“Blockchain and related trust enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles…by bringing together automakers, suppliers, startups, and government agencies, we can accelerate adoption for the benefit of businesses, consumers and communities.”
Ballinger points out the importance of data generated inside the car, given that the average commuter spends two hours a day in their car and is often using the internet asking virtual assistants for directions. Also, the data generated by the car itself is significant, with an estimated 25 gigabytes of data an hour being produced by a connected vehicle.
“That data might be out there, but nobody is sharing it and so the day, when we get safe cars, is probably further away than it otherwise could be.”