The standard, which paves the way for decentralized mobility services and smart cities, was developed in collaboration with Groupe Renault, Ford, BMW, and others.
The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) – a global nonprofit working to create standards in blockchain, distributed ledgers, and related technologies for consumers, smart cities, and mobility – has launched the industry's first vehicle identification (VID) standard incorporating blockchain technology into a digital vehicle identification system. The standard – developed by MOBI’s member-led VID Working Group, which includes automotive leaders, start-ups, and large technology companies – represents a step toward the digital evolution of the automotive and mobility industries.
According to MOBI, this first standard (hinting at upcoming development of further standards) focuses on the "birth" of the vehicle as a minimum representation of that vehicle's creation. Subsequent VID phases will add additional product definition, ownership history, and a log of key-events in the vehicle's lifecycle. The result will be a trusted and immutable master record of the vehicle's history and data usage.
“A blockchain identity standard could enable a diverse suite of mobility applications that result in more efficient supply-chains, lower-cost financing, and safer roads,” says Chris Ballinger, MOBI’s founder and CEO. “We hope these standards will ultimately make urban environments greener, safer, and more livable by enabling usage-based payment for congestion, pollution, and infrastructure.”
MOBI's VID Working Group is chaired by Groupe Renault and Ford, with support from Accenture, AIOI Insurance, BMW, Car Vertical, Cerebri AI, Cognizant, ConsenSys, CPChain, Dealer Market Exchange, DLT Labs, GM, Honda, Hyperledger, IBM, IOTA, Kar Auction Services, Luxoft, MintBit, Netsol Tech, Oaken Innovations, On The Road Lending, Trusted IoT Alliance, and Xapix.
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"A standard for Digital Vehicle Identity will be the cornerstone of a new realm of blockchain-based solutions for the mobility ecosystem," explains Sebastien Henot, chair of the VID Working Group, and Renault's Silicon Valley Innovation Lab manager of Business Innovation. "The creation of a blockchain 'digital twin' will enable connected vehicles to securely identify themselves, share data, and transact with other vehicles, infrastructure, and their environment."
The first standard is the foundation developed by the working group to enable trusted data communication amongst inter-operating stakeholders within the mobility ecosystem. The VID is the master data key to a vehicle's existence, behavior, and performance, supporting data transparency, coordination, and automation among stakeholders throughout its lifecycle.
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"The real power of blockchain comes from enabling networks of people and things to transact with each other without intermediaries," Ford's Alan Gordon, co-chair of MOBI's VID Working Group states. "A crucial first step to enabling these networks is for participants to be able to identify each other in a way that everyone understands. Providing this identity for vehicles is the goal of the first phase of the VID standard."
In addition to the working group, the standard was thoroughly reviewed by formal verification experts – giving developers confidence their implementations adhere to the best practices in digital security. MOBI hopes that applications enabled by this standard will ultimately help lower carbon emissions, improve road safety, reduce traffic congestion, and support a host of other socially desirable outcomes.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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