UNLOCK Interviewed Abdulla Yousef Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer, Licensing Agency at RTA (Roads Transport Authority) to talk about the recent Blockchain implementation for Vehicle lifecycle, the upcoming floating tender and future projects.
In February of this year RTA, (Roads and Transport Authority) of Dubai announced that they would be implementing the first vehicle history Blockchain lifecycle management system as part of the Dubai 10X initiative. As mentioned in their release, this project will positively influence both the local and regional car markets and the car-manufacturing industry as a whole by providing transparency and trust in vehicle transactions.
UNLOCK asked Al Ali about the initiative and how it would add value to RTA’s service and customer experience. According to Al Ali, “The Dubai Vehicle Chain is the world’s first fully-integrated platform for Vehicle Life Cycle Management based on the Blockchain technology. Today in Dubai we have over 1.6 million vehicle owners and this platform will allow them to gain transparent, secure and accessible information on any vehicle when it comes to the lifecycle of this vehicle.” He adds, “This is vital information on the different stages of a vehicle’s life allowing for more informed decisions and even opportunities for developing innovative services and public private solutions for data monetization.”
RTA is collaborating with a number of partners including IBM as the strategy formulation consultant as well as governmental entities. As Al Ali explains, “We are collaborating with our strategic partners, international integrators and even local start-ups. We have already completed the proof of concept and our team is currently studying the way forward. We will be floating a tender in the upcoming months.” Other government entities that will be partnering on this project include Dubai Customs, Dubai Police, Dubai Economic Development Department and Emirates Authority for standardization and Metrology, Emirates ID and the Ministry of Interior.
As for the role of Smart Dubai and the integration with SDO Blockchain as a service platform, Al Ali adds, “We are a strategic partner with Smart Dubai office and work closely with them. We believe that there are some Blockchain projects that we will drive and others that are cross-entity that will be led by SDO, and these will be studied on a case-by-case basis.
Al Ali admits to UNLOCK that this is a very challenging project as it requires the collaboration and support of both the private and public sector. As Al Ali states, “this is a work in progress and it is too early to talk about duration or scope. I would like to highlight that our focus is on building a platform that will bring various stakeholders on board and this is the most challenging aspect.” In RTA’s announcement they stated that a completed system for a transparent vehicle management lifecycle would be finalized by 2020.
At the moment RTA is engrossed in diligently educating other partners. Al Ali explains, “During the proof of concept we identified key stakeholders and on-boarded some. We are at the stage of educating other key stakeholders so they believe in the concept as well to play a proactive role in making this a reality. It is not easy to create a Blockchain network on a city level because we need to change the mindsets we are used to when we developed traditional IT systems.”
Of course this is not the only Blockchain case study under implementation in RTA. Al Ali told UNLOCK, “RTA was among the first government entities to conduct a Blockchain innovation lab in 2017. The lab developed over 50 use cases related to our business and we have identified the top ones and the Vehicle Life Cycle is one of them.”
As for its implementation at a later stage across the entire UAE, Al Ali states, “Once RTA successfully implements the project in Dubai, we will leverage the knowledge and lessons learned to study the feasibility of expanding at the UAE Level.”
In the future Al Ali believes that RTA is set to benefit from Blockchain in various use cases under study. He explains, “There are ways to use Blockchain to improve operational efficiencies, customer experience, cost optimization and service delivery. Some examples include Blockchain base implementation for Multimodal Journey planning, payments, permits and procurement.”