A consortium of tech and automotive companies have launched a new blockchain initiative dubbed the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative, or MOBI amongst friends. The not-for-profit working group was pulled together to explore the uses of blockchain technology to improve mobility services.
“mobi is a nonprofit organization working with forward thinking companies, governments, and NGOs to make mobility services more efficient, affordable, greener, safer, and less congested by promoting standards and accelerating adoption of blockchain, distributed ledger, and related technologies.”
One look at the group’s membership, including heavyweights BMW, Ford, GM, Bosch, and Groupe Renault, and it’s clear that it has the firepower to reshape the way cars communicate and negotiate interactions in public spaces. In its first press release, MOBI shared a handful of the early use cases it would be exploring:
- 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.
MOBI released a statement from Chris Ballinger, MOBI’s first chairman and CEO about the initiative. “Blockchain and related trust enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles.”
Blockchain is a technology that leverages a public ledger made up of individual blocks, linked together in a chain that is then encrypted. The ledger is then sent to all parties, forming the basis of public trust of the ledger. As long as everyone has the same ledger and the same encryption hash, its authenticity is assured. Old records in the ledger cannot be modified without affecting more recent entries, thus ensuring an accurate record.
MOBI’s hardware members are supported by an impressive team of sponsors and affiliates that include IT powerhouses Accenture and IBM. These stalwarts of the tech world are complemented by a healthy dose of new blood from the emerging world of blockchain. Curiously, all 5 of MOBI’s board members come from the blockchain world, building a robust team of experts from which it can explore different applications of the tech.