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Carmakers, Suppliers Form Blockchain Consortium

Carmakers, suppliers and tech companies have formed a consortium to develop blockchain technologies—similar to those used for Bitcoin digital payments and other crypto-currencies—for automotive applications.
#Ford #Bosch #Toyota

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Carmakers, suppliers and tech companies have formed a consortium to develop blockchain technologies—similar to those used for Bitcoin digital payments and other crypto-currencies—for automotive applications.

The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), was announced this week at a conference in Dubai. Among the initial members are BMW, Bosch, Ford, General Motors, IBM, Renault, ZF and about three dozen tech companies and other partners.

Blockchain uses a decentralized network to share data, which proponents say make it virtually impossible to hack. Potential automotive applications include digital payments for third-party transactions and other emerging mobility services. Blockchains also could be used to share autonomous vehicle data to improve performance.

MOBI will work with members to assign digital identities to vehicles, thereby allowing them to access blockchain platforms and facilitate digital tracking. Other initial focus areas are supply chain management, autonomous vehicle systems, secure payments, data markets and car- and ride-hailing services.

Chris Ballinger will serve as MOBI’s chairman and CEO. He most recently was chief financial officer and head of mobility services for Toyota Research Institute, which Toyota launched in late 2015 to develop artificial intelligence and robotic systems for next-generation vehicles and facilities.

Several carmakers and suppliers have been developing their own blockchain systems. For example, ZF and IBM are working with financial services firm UBS on ZF's eWallet technology. Last year Toyota partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab on a development program. Porsche also is testing blockchain systems.

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