Major automakers form new blockchain research group
New open-source collaboration aims to safeguard data while harnessing its potential.
Major automakers like BMW, Ford and General Motors are joining forces with IBM, Accenture, auto suppliers, insurance services and blockchain startups in a new nonprofit research group tasked with creating the blockchain-based mobility ecosystem of the future.
The newly formed Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) has set out to make transportation safer, more affordable and more widely accessible by exploring how blockchain technology can provide security and sovereignty for driving data, manage ride-share and car-share transactions, and store vehicle identity and usage information. The open-source format enables MOBI to foster trust, transparency and cost efficiency.
MOBI will be led by former Toyota Research Institute CFO Chris Ballinger.
“Blockchain and related trust-enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles,” he said. “By bringing together automakers, suppliers, startups and government agencies, we can accelerate adoption for the benefit of businesses, consumers and communities.”
Initial projects undertaken by MOBI will focus on:
- Vehicle identity, history and data tracking
- Supply chain tracking, transparency and efficiency
- Autonomous machine and vehicle payments
- Secure mobility ecosystem commerce
- Data markets for autonomous and human driving
- Car sharing and ride hailing
- Usage-based mobility pricing and payments for vehicles, insurance, energy, congestion, pollution, infrastructure, etc.
Among the list of more than 35 founding partners are the IOTA Foundation, which is the nonprofit group behind the Internet-of-Things-focused IOTA cryptocurrency, and supply chain management token VeChain. Learn more about these cryptocurrencies in our guides to IOTA and VeChain.
New developments in self-driving vehicles have set the stage for their rollout this year, and the autonomous driving industry is projected to transform American streets and highways over the next decade.
Meanwhile, data-heavy usage-based insurance is also becoming more mainstream – and saving drivers money. Learn more about pay-as-you-go insurance in our guide, and read up on Hyundai’s recent partnership that will enable it on all the brand’s new vehicles.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds USDT and DRGN.
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