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Major Automakers Aim to Bring Blockchain to Cars

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Launched by four of some of the major automakers worldwide and a number of other companies, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) focuses on speeding up Blockchain adoption for mobility applications, from payments to ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles.

The basic idea behind MOBI is bringing together vehicle manufacturers on one side, and consumer-oriented mobility services providers on the other. MOBI includes names of the caliber of BMW, Ford, GM, and Renault among automakers; and IBM, Hyperledger, IOTA, and Fetch.ai on the tech side.

The initiative envisions distributed ledger technology (DLT) as a key factor to improve driving safety and affordability and to connect users in a new peer-to-peer ecosystem. The initiative will start investigating the possibilities of using Blockchain to manage a vehicle’s digital identity and history, its location in space and time, and other relevant properties to build applications to manage congestion fees, carbon pricing, car and ride sharing, usage-based insurance and taxes, including pollution taxes, and more.

According to the official announcement, MOBI is committed to an open-source approach both for tools and standards, which seemingly is a necessary requirement to be able to attract the interest of a significant number of industry players.

As it is known, DLT provides the foundation for decentralized systems of independent computers guaranteeing security, privacy, owner rights, and integrity of all transactions taking place. The big promise this carries with is generating trust among users without requiring any trusted third-parties, reducing the risk of fraud by making the costs of transaction verification affordable. This in turn should be making it possible to build a seamless, safe, and affordable user experience.

While MOBI marks a shift in perspective by putting the automotive industry at its center, it is not the first forays of automakers into Blockchain territory. Most notably, Renault was already part of the R3 research consortium, and Daimler is part of the Linux Foundation Hyperledger project, while Toyota announced its own Blockchain consortium through its Toyota Research Institute.

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