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The immense potential of blockchain for the mobility sector has only emerged in the past three to four years, but efforts are well underway by market players large and small to make it work.
The immense potential of blockchain for the mobility sector has only emerged in the past three to four years, but efforts are well underway by market players large and small to make it work.
( Source: Public Domain / Pixabay)

Blockchain Analysis of blockchain technology in the mobility sector

| Editor: Erika Granath

Blockchain technology: a passing trend or an essential tool that can create trust and transparency? Industry channels are awash with predictions about the fledging technology, which doesn’t align itself to any sector but could be beneficial to many.

In this article, we’ll give you a brief overview of blockchain and an analysis of how it could revolutionize mobility.

What’s blockhain technology?

Initially developed to serve as a public transaction ledger for the cryptocurrency bitcoin back in 2008, a blockchain consists of a series of blocks containing transaction data and a timestamp. These blocks are linked via cryptographically secured chains (hence ‘blockchain’), which prevent the timestamps from being tampered with. The result: an undistorted record that anyone can view. The fact that the technology can be trusted to present an honest overall picture is the key factor behind its popularity—and has led to it being proposed as a solution in a variety of industries.

The role of blockchain technology in mobility

Mobility is one such sector. With the development of smart vehicles, the need for security and control over the data being produced is critical. In addition, the industry is seeing a reduction in the number of intermediaries, while at the same time more contracts are being signed and more assets are changing hands than ever before. It is essential to create trust between all the stakeholders concerned—and blockchain might just prove to be the answer.

Transparency in business: a white whale that could be in sight

When set up correctly, the decentralized records in a blockchain can be consulted to confirm the veracity of a statement or set of figures. Say, for ex-ample, a company has an aging fleet of cars and wishes to sell them to a reseller. Blockchain allows that reseller to access the fleet’s data ledger to determine whether the resale price is fair. In another scenario, a consumer looking to insure themselves on a specific vehicle could go to a provider, who would then use blockchain to assess that consumer’s risk status, view their accident history and tailor the policy to the benefit of both the provider and the consumer. Then there’s the concept of the ‘smart wallet’, where a vehicle owner can, for example, submit data about road conditions or traffic jams. As well as helping out other road users, they earn credits for their wallet, which they can then redeem in the form of discounts and other incentives.

Say hello to MOBI: the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative

Launched in 2018 by automotive heavyweights BMW, Ford, Renault and GM, MOBI is a consortium tasked with fostering innovation in the mobility industry through blockchain applications. Its first project was to develop a block-chain-based ‘car passport’, whose data can be consulted when changing ownership or renewing insurance, for example. MOBI is now focusing on technology, scalability and data security, which is where the challenges presented by blockchain are most keenly felt. To benefit from blockchain, all stakeholders have to buy into the concept, contribute to its ecosystem and employ approximately the same technology standards. In addition, there has to be an absolute guarantee that the data cannot be tampered with—with blockchain, incorruptibility is king.

A long road (or chain) ahead

The immense potential of blockchain for the mobility sector has only emerged in the past three to four years, but efforts are well underway by market players large and small to make it work. From insurance and resale to fleet management and mobility as a service, the possibilities are virtually endless. While the technology does face some major challenges, above all in terms of security and scaling, blockchain is set to fundamentally overhaul the way in which business is conducted in the mobility industry. One thing is for sure: there will be many exciting developments over the next few years.

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