A group of auto and tech companies have formed a consortium to develop automotive uses for blockchain. MOBI, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative, said Wednesday at a conference in Dubai that General Motors, BMW, Renault, Bosch, ZF Friedrichshafen, Accenture and IBM would be among its initial members. The group is led by industry veteran Chris Ballinger, who last month left his role as CFO and head of mobility services at Toyota Research Institute.
As such, while there have been a number of proofs-of-concept in the sector of late (last year, IBM and ZF tested a crypto car wallet), the consortium perhaps distinguishes itself through its broad representation, as well as the participation from groups backing both private and public blockchain systems.
MOBI aims to create common standards and APIs to enable payments and data-sharing between cars – all in service of driving forward a new digital mobility ecosystem, from ride-sharing to self-driving vehicles and everything in between.
Blockchain is “a technology where the network effects will be very strong,” Ballinger said. “If you’re not in at the very start, it may be too late.”
The work will kick off with in-person member meetings to form project teams for areas such as vehicle identity and data tracking; ride sharing; mobility ecosystem commerce; and data markets for autonomous and human driving.