Automakers, suppliers, and technology companies launch blockchain initiative
The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) announced its formation to explore blockchain for use in a new digital mobility ecosystem that could make transportation safer, more affordable, and more widely accessible. MOBI stated that it is actively working with companies accounting for over 70% of global vehicle production in terms of market share. Additionally, the organization and its partners 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.
MOBI’s partners include Accenture, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services USA, Beyond Protocol Inc., BigchainDB, Blockchain at Berkeley, BMW, Bosch, Chronicled, ConsenSys Systems, Context Labs, Crypto Valley Association, Dashride, Deon Digital AG, Digital Twin Labs, DOVU, Fetch.ai, FOAM, Ford, General Motors, Hyperledger, IBM, the IOTA Foundation, Luxoft, MotionWerk, NuCypher, Oaken Innovations, Ocean Protocol, Outlier Ventures, Groupe Renault, Ride Austin, Shareing, Shift, Spherical Analytics, the Trusted IoT Alliance, VeChain, Xain, and ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
Blockchain technology operates by distributing information to a network of independent computers with the goal of ensuring that transactions are secure and data privacy, ownership rights, and integrity are protected. Working in a consortium reportedly 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.
Chris Ballinger, former Chief Financial Officer and Director of Mobility Services at Toyota Research Institute, is joining MOBI as Chairman and CEO to coordinate this initiative and create a more open platform where users, owners, mobility service companies, and infrastructure providers can better control and monetize their assets, including their 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.
MOBI is inviting stakeholders from across the entire mobility value chain to establish a “minimum viable network.” This includes automakers, public transportation and toll road providers, other forms of transportation, technology firms, blockchain firms, academic institutions, startup innovators, and regulatory bodies across the globe.
Joining Chris Ballinger as co-founders and members of the initial Board of Directors are Ashley Lannquist from Blockchain at Berkeley and David Luce, a veteran technology leader. Dan Harple, CEO of Context Labs, Joseph Lubin, Co-Founder of Ethereum and Founder of ConsenSys, Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger, Jamie Burke, CEO of Outlier Ventures, and Zaki Manian, Executive Director of the Trusted IoT Alliance, join MOBI’s Board of Advisors.
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 and payments for vehicles, insurance, energy, congestion, pollution, infrastructure, etc.