A new initiative to explore blockchain for use in “a new digital mobility ecosystem that could make transportation safer, more affordable, and more widely accessible” has been launched.
The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative, MOBI, says it is actively working with companies accounting for over 70% of global vehicle production in terms of market share. MOBI and partners, including, BMW, Bosch, Ford, General Motors, Groupe Renault, ZF, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services USA and others say they are seeking 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.
Blockchain technology operates by distributing information to a network of independent computers, ensuring that transactions are secure and data privacy, ownership rights, and integrity are protected. MOBI says that working in a consortium allows it and its 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,” he said. “By bringing together automakers, suppliers, startups, and government agencies, we can accelerate adoption for the benefit of businesses, consumers and communities.”
MOBI says that through an open-source approach to blockchain software tools and standards, the consortium hopes to stimulate more rapid and scalable adoption of the technology by other companies developing autonomous vehicle and mobility services.