World leading carmakers, Ford, GM, BMW, Bosch, and Renault have formed a consortium with major tech companies to explore how blockchain will reinvent mobility.
The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), whose formation was unveiled on May 2, is actively working with companies that account for over 70% of the global vehicle production. The consortium was launched by over 30 founding members that also include IBM, IOTA, Foam, Hyperledger, Fetch.ai, Blockchain at Berkeley, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Service USA and others.
The goal is to discover ways to integrate blockchain into travel solutions in order to make transportation safer, more affordable and more widely accessible.
According to Chris Ballinger, MOBI’s first chairman and CEO:
“Blockchain and related trust enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles”
Ballinger, who formerly served as the Director of Mobility Services at Toyota Research Institute added:
“By bringing together automakers, suppliers, startups, and government agencies, we can accelerate adoption for the benefit of businesses, consumers and communities.”
Blockchain technology indeed has the potential to transform business in a wide range of sectors. The distributed ledger technology could streamline the vehicle supply chain and reshape the way organizations capture and consume data. It is for these reasons that MOBI expects to narrow its focus to autonomous vehicles payments, supply chain management, data tracking, mobility ecosystem commerce, car-sharing and ride-hailing applications.
A statement by MOBI reads:
“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. Working in a consortium allows MOBI and partners to create transparency and trust among users, reduce the risk of fraud, and reduce frictions and transaction costs in mobility, such as fees or surcharges applied by third-parties.”
By deploying open-source approach to its blockchain solutions, the group “hopes” to stimulate “a more rapid and scalable adoption by other companies in developing autonomous vehicle and mobility services”.
The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative is banking on its open source software to attract players within the mobility industry to join its platform. It is seeking to establish a “minimum viable network” with a wide range of stakeholders including automakers, technology companies, transportation service providers, regulatory bodies, among others.
Among the members on MOBI’s board are Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum, Brian Behlendorf, executive director of Hyperledger and Ashley Lannquist from Blockchain at Berkeley.