How blockchain can be used in the automotive industry continues to make significant progress, according to a leading organization’s update shared on Monday.
The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) is working with BMW, Ford, General Motors, Groupe Renault, Honda and other major automakers to develop a multi-stakeholder proof of concept (PoC) for a blockchain-based vehicle identity (VID).
In September, MOBI members launched an important joint initiative to test implementation of the first VID standard, released earlier this year, taking a critical step towards the new economy of movement with blockchain.
“Creating a trusted digital identity for a vehicle unlocks the potential for a mobility payments network, including: V2V/V2X transactions, electric vehicle to grid integration, usage-based services, fleet operations, congestion pricing, carbon footprint management and more,” MOBI chief executive officer Chris Ballinger said in a news release.
“We are delighted that a large segment of the industry is partnering with MOBI to build the foundation to prove existence, manage access control, confirm product definition and ownership history, and track events in the life of a vehicle.,” Ballinger continued.
Blockchain-based VID can make it easy to associate vehicle payments directly to a vehicle rather than needing a payment account associated with a person or business. Smart contracts can then enable direct and low-cost micropayments to and from multiple parties in response to detectable events. This will accelerate existing trends toward pay-per-use mobility and Mobility-as-a-Service.
“The Vehicle Identity Standard is a critical enabler for future blockchain-based vehicle and mobility services. We are excited to participate in the multi-stakeholder Proof-of-Concept to foster the advancement of the standard and to explore its application,” said Andre Luckow, head of distributed ledger and emerging technologies at BMW Group.
Vehicle digital identities also can facilitate the creation of mobility networks, in which vehicles can communicate with each other and track movement: speed, location, direction of travel, braking, and even intention. Thus, blockchain and vehicle identity unlock safer road sharing.
MOBI insisted that the release of the first VID standard was a crucial first step in creating an ecosystem in which vehicles can securely identify themselves and communicate with other vehicles. Development of common protocols and ways of communicating are critical to adoption of new technology. Through standards development, MOBI and its partner standard bodies spur innovation and speed development.
“IEEE has been a leader in creating open standards for new and cutting edge technologies for 56 years. We look forward to working closely with MOBI to develop standards in areas of blockchain and mobility,” said Remy Lyon, chair of the Los Angeles IEEE Blockchain Group.
MOBI explained that adoption of the VID standard by a large group of manufacturers and blockchain developers immediately can create a minimum viable community, bringing together automakers and start-ups to test and verify the VID within individual car systems. The VID will then be tested for coordinated vehicle communication within the MOBI ecosystem.
The MOBI community is currently recruiting more companies and infrastructure owners to develop and execute a comprehensive solution in accordance with the VID standard. Selected companies are able to work with other MOBI members to validate real-world applications of the VID with blockchain and DLT.
MOBI expects the PoC will give governments and transit operators new tools, in the near future, to reduce congestion and combat pollution, thereby making mobility safer, greener and more affordable.
While the official PoC will take months to complete, key mobility stakeholders will be attending the seventh MOBI Colloquium, MoCo Los Angeles, in November for the first demonstration of car wallets using the MOBI VID standard.