Transport industry blockchain consortium the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) and the Trusted IoT Alliance (TIoTA) have jointly launched a new initiative to spur the development of blockchain and connected technologies in transportation: the three-year MOBI Grand Challenge (MGC).
The first event in this new ongoing series is a four-month-long tournament to showcase the potential uses of blockchain in coordinating vehicle movement and improving transportation in towns and cities.
Participants in the first challenge will be expected to demonstrate how distributed consensus, blockchains, and related technologies, could coordinate behaviour to solve specific problems in urban mobility, including machine identity, position, collective sensor fusion, obstacle mapping, path planning, and micropayments.
The tournament will culminate in a public demonstration of promising technologies, to be hosted by MOBI community member BMW in February 2019.
Winners of this first challenge will receive $350,000 of awards: $250,000 in tokens to be used on the Beyond Protocol network, and $100,000 in tokens to be used on the Ocean Protocol network for data exchange and AI advances.
MOBI on the move
Commenting on the launch, MOBI CEO and co-founder Chris Ballinger said: “Today, many pieces of the smart mobility future are already in place and there are no fundamental roadblocks to realising the full benefits of blockchain connected vehicles.
Through the MGC, MOBI and TIoTA aim to spark corporate, government and academic cooperation, connect developers with key stakeholders to drive progress, and fully exploit the potential of blockchain technology.
MOBI – whose members include Accenture, Blockchain at Berkeley, BMW, Bosch, Fetch.ai, Ford, General Motors, Hyperledger, IBM, the IOTA Foundation, Luxoft, Renault, and the World Economic Forum – was formed earlier this year to explore the concept that blockchains and distributed consensus protocols offer new solutions for urban mobility.
For example, MOBI believes that the technologies could enable vehicles to autonomously verify identity, enforce complex rules, negotiate with other vehicles and infrastructure, and bind behaviour, contributing to safer, more efficient, and greener transportation.
“Mobility is a breakout IoT industry vertical for blockchain,” said Zaki Manian, executive director of the Trusted IoT Alliance and a member of MOBI’s Board of Advisors.
“Only a small percentage of companies have completed end-to-end proofs of concept in this area and our intent is to fill this gap. With this collaboration, we will further the viability of applications of blockchain for smart-contract-enabled IoT devices.”
The MOBI Grand Challenge is supported by a range of industry partners, including Accenture, BMW, IBM, Ocean Protocol and Beyond Protocol, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) company building a new internet protocol that securely connects devices with a universal language.
Internet of Business says
Worldwide, drivers spend an average of over 40 hours a year in traffic congestion; in cities like Los Angeles, drivers can waste over 100 hours in congestion. Transportation also consumes 25 percent of energy produced and 50 percent of oil globally, and accounts for 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
On top of this, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among people between 15 and 29 years old and more than 1.25 million people die each year as a result of vehicle crashes.
MOBI’s first challenge is an inventive route to tackling these issues and enabling safe and congestion-free transportation. Blockchain could enable vehicles to communicate with each other to negotiate routes, perceive obstacles, and offer on-demand services – as well as provide environmental benefits.
The ultimate goal of the MGC is to develop the first viable decentralised, ad hoc network of blockchain-connected vehicles and infrastructure that can reliably share data, coordinate behaviour, and improve urban mobility.
As we reported at the organisation’s inception in May, the MOBI Consortium looks set to transform the transport market with blockchain. Since then, MOBI has been strengthened by new associates coming onboard, including the World Economic Forum.