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BMW, Ford, GM and others working on proof of concept for blockchain-based vehicle identity system

Mon, 14 Oct 2019, 12:05 pm UTC

Leading automakers, including the likes of BMW, Ford, GM, Groupe Renault, and Honda, are developing a multi-stakeholder Proof of Concept (PoC) for a blockchain-based Vehicle Identity (VID).

The project is being carried out under the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) – a non-profit organization formed last year to make transportation safer, more affordable, and more widely accessible by leveraging blockchain technology.

In July, MOBI announced that its member-led Vehicle Identification Working Group has created and released the industry’s first vehicle identity (VID) standard on blockchain.

In a press release dated October 14, MOBI revealed that its members launched a joint initiative last month to test the implementation of the VID standard. It expects the PoC to take several months to complete.

MOBI explained that the blockchain-based VID will make it easy to associate vehicle payments directly to a vehicle and eliminate the need for a payment account associated with a person or business. Furthermore, the use of smart contracts would help enable direct and low-cost micropayments to and from multiple parties in response to detectable events.

"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.

MOBI said that it expects the PoC to provide new tools to governments and transit operators to reduce congestion and combat pollution, thereby making mobility safer, greener and more affordable.

According to a report from Nikkei Asian Review, Renault, BMW, General Motors, Honda Motor, and Ford Motor are going to begin field tests for the VID system in the U.S. next month. The trial would see drivers automatically making payments for parking fees or highway tolls without using cash or cards.

Key mobility stakeholders will be attending the seventh MOBI Colloquium, MoCo Los Angeles, in November for the first demonstration of car wallets using the MOBI VID standard, the release said.

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