A group called Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) has formed to explore blockchain for use in a new digital mobility ecosystem that could make transportation safer, more affordable, and more widely accessible, according to the group. MOBI is actively working with companies accounting for over 70 percent of global vehicle production in terms of the market share. MOBI and its partners-including BMW, Bosch, Ford, General Motors, Groupe Renault, ZF, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services USA and IBM-seek to foster an ecosystem where businesses and consumers have security and sovereignty over their driving data, manage ride-share and car-share transactions, and store vehicle identity and usage information, according to the group.
Blockchain technology operates by distributing information to a network of independent computers and ensuring that transactions are secure and data privacy, ownership rights, and integrity are protected. Working in a consortium allows MOBI and partners to create transparency and trust among users, reduce risk of fraud, and reduce frictions and transaction costs in mobility, such as fees or surcharges applied by third-parties, according to MOBI.
Chris Ballinger, former CFO and director of mobility services at Toyota Research Institute, is joining MOBI as Chairman and CEO to coordinate this initiative and use blockchain to create a more open platform where users, owners, mobility service companies, and infrastructure providers can better control and monetize their assets, including data.
“Blockchain and related trust enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles,” said Ballinger. “By bringing together automakers, suppliers, startups, and government agencies, we can accelerate adoption for the benefit of businesses, consumers and communities.”
Through an open-source approach to blockchain software tools and standards, the MOBI consortium hopes to stimulate more rapid and scalable adoption of the technology by other companies developing autonomous vehicle and mobility services.
Initially, MOBI will be working with its partners on projects related to:
- 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 for vehicles, insurance, energy, congestion, pollution, infrastructure, etc.