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Blockchain Based Vehicle Identity

The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) is working with BMW, Ford, GM, Groupe Renault, Honda, and other major automakers to develop a multi-stakeholder Proof of Concept (PoC) for a blockchain-based Vehicle Identity (VID). MOBI members launched an important joint initiative to test implementation of the first VID standard, released earlier this year, taking a critical step towards the new economy of movement with blockchain.

“Creating a trusted digital identity for a vehicle unlocks the potential for a mobility payments network, including: V2V/V2X transactions, electric vehicle to grid integration, usage-based services, fleet operations, congestion pricing, carbon footprint management, and more,” said MOBI CEO Chris Ballinger. “We are delighted that a large segment of the industry is partnering with MOBI to build the foundation to prove existence, manage access control, confirm product definition and ownership history, and track events in the life of a vehicle.”

Blockchain-based VID makes it easy to associate vehicle payments directly to a vehicle rather than needing a payment account associated with a person or business. Smart contracts can then enable direct and low cost micropayments to and from multiple parties in response to detectable events. This will accelerate existing trends toward pay per use mobility and mobility as a service.

“The Vehicle Identity Standard is a critical enabler for future blockchain-based vehicle and mobility services. We are excited to participate in the multi-stakeholder Proof-of-Concept to foster the advancement of the standard and to explore its application,” shared Andre Luckow, Head of Distributed Ledger and Emerging Technologies at BMW Group.

Vehicle digital identities also facilitate the creation of mobility networks, in which vehicles can communicate with each other and track movement: speed, location, direction of travel, braking, and even intention. Thus, blockchain and vehicle identity unlock safer roadsharing.

The release of the first VID standard was the first step in creating an ecosystem in which vehicles can identify themselves and communicate with other vehicles. Development of common protocols and ways of communicating are critical to adoption of new technology. “IEEE has been a leader in creating open standards for new and cutting edge technologies for 56 years. We look forward to working closely with MOBI to develop standards in areas of blockchain and mobility,” said Remy Lyon, Chair, Los Angeles IEEE Blockchain Group.

Adoption of the VID standard by a large group of manufacturers and blockchain developers immediately creates a minimum viable community, bringing together automakers and start-ups to test and verify the VID within individual car systems. The VID will then be tested for coordinated vehicle communication within the MOBI ecosystem.

MOBI expects the PoC will give governments and transit operators new tools, in the near future, to reduce congestion and combat pollution, thereby making mobility safer, greener and more affordable. 

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