The days of assembling “dumb” parts into something that moves are (nearly) over. Vehicle sales for personal ownership are dwindling while new mobility concepts are on a steady rise.
In addition, a shift from combustion to electric engines and leaps in autonomous driving technology require a major overhaul of existing manufacturing processes, designs, infrastructure and business models.
The coming decade will represent the biggest disruption any industry lasting longer than a century has ever seen. The New York Times recently titled “The Car Industry is under siege”:
“It’s going to be the biggest change we’ve seen in the last 100 years, and it’s going to be really expensive even for the biggest companies” […] Major auto companies will spend well over $400 billion during the next five years […]
They must retool factories, retrain workers, reorganize their supplier networks and rethink the whole idea of car ownership. […] this upfront investment is a matter of survival. If they don’t adapt, they could become obsolete.
The electric carmaker Tesla, despite all its problems, is still worth more on the stock market than either Fiat Chrysler or Renault. Uber is worth much more than the two combined, even after reporting a $1 billion quarterly loss.
In essence, software is given a much higher priority, not only in terms of research and development for future mobility solutions, electric or autonomous vehicles but also in order to establish or streamline near-term mobility solutions.
Overall connectivity, automation, the reduction of friction between individual transportation solutions and processes, security, electric charging solutions and infrastructure, convenience features and new revenue models are only a few of the monumental challenges mobility providers face.
With the above comes an unfathomable amount of data, for which manufacturers and service providers have to decide who owns it, who to share it with and how to secure it.
Even though it is very young technology that hasn’t been declared production ready yet, IOTA, as an immutable, feeless, permissionless and open-source communication and value-transfer protocol has seen vast interest by mobility providers — in fact much more than any other existing cryptocurrency protocol.
Without going into the reasons on why mobility providers are interested in IOTA (which will be the subject of another article), the following is a mere attempt for a full account of mobility-related entities with a known interest in IOTA as a potential solution to their challenges, based on first-party sources as listed on iotaarchive.com up until July 2019.
Brace yourself for a long list.
Early bits of information in mid-2017 [source] suggested a connection between IOTA and Volkswagen, yet at that time it was “only” Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS). Rumours were further fuelled by Harm van den Brink (IF) showcasing images of Volkswagen’s IOTA-based CarPass application during an IOTA presentation in December 2017 [video].
Volkswagen’s Chief Digital Officer Johann Jungwirth appearing alongside IOTA co-founder Dominik Schiener in one of Germany’s morning shows [video] in late 2017 added further to the speculation of an undisclosed formal cooperation between Volkswagen and IOTA.
In early 2018, Volkswagen’s Jungwirth announced a cooperation during a presentation [video] at BOSCH Connected World 2018. At that time, IOTA was not just the first DLT ever being introduced by the management of a global vehicle manufacturer, coincidentally it was also the world’s largest one that did it.
Jungwirth personally showed further personal involvement by sharing details of an IOTA-based proof-of-concept, developed by Volkswagen [source] and even served for some time on the Supervisory Board of the IOTA Foundation [source] during its initial setup, shortly after its formal recognition by the german government.
In April 2018, in an interview by BOSCH with Benjamin Sinram, Volkswagen’s Head of Blockchain, Sinram describes an IOTA-based prototype “best described as a wallet that enables machines to form a network of service providers […] made up of production machines, transport equipment, or other devices such as sensors […] the user is then presented with a price […] Once an order has been issued, the interface executes an IOTA transaction, and the respective machines simultaneously receive the command to start production.”
In mid-2018, the cooperation continued with Volkswagen inviting IOTA to the worlds largest motor show “Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA)”, at which IOTA already held a presentation [source] in the previous year [video].
In 2018 though, IOTA was the first, and until today, only distributed ledger technology ever being presented by a vehicle manufacturer itself.
At the 2018 motor show, Volkswagen showcased a large-scale, futuristic IOTA-based proof-of-concept, detailing human-autonomous vehicle interactions and cryptocurrency settlements for consumed services [source].
In a following IAA panel discussion to which IOTA was invited, Volkswagen’s Head of Blockchain Research Benjamin Sinram announced an IOTA-based product to be released „as early as 2019“ [video]. He repeated his statement two weeks later during a panel discussion at a technology conference in Israel [source]. So far, the announced product hasn’t been released by Volkswagen.
In July 2018, Dr. Klaus Schaaf, a 30+ year Volkswagen veteran in research, digitalisation and edge technologies [source], officially joined the IOTA Foundation [source] as a second Volkswagen member, serving in an official capacity.
Later, in July 2018, Volkswagen released a video [source] explaining its efforts in regard to distributed ledger technologies, showing several IOTA-based use-cases, while also mentioning Ethereum and Hyperledger. The same applies to an article on the Volkswagen website dubbed “Putting the blockchain on the road” [source], published in August 2018.
In November 2018, the Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) “Startups Pitch Day” invited Janna Zielinski (IF) to participate as a juror [source].
Daimler AG/Mercedes Benz
In late 2017, Mercedes Benz showed first (known) interest in IOTA through its subsidiary Daimler Fleetboard by inviting IOTA to a large scale hackathon to develop ideas surrounding mobility and supply chain solutions [source] based on distributed ledger technology.
In early 2018, Mercedes Benz representatives participated and reported from a StartupAutobahn meetup [source], an accelerator program for which IOTA was one of the 100 globally selected entrants.
In mid-2018, a manager of Den Norske Bank (DNB), Norways largest bank, mentioned in an interview that he recently met with representatives from Mercedes and the IOTA Foundation [source].
While Mercedes was rumoured to participate in the industry specific Blockchain Mobility Hackathon, it eventually didn’t [source]. Since early 2018, various reports suggested that Mercedes is developing its own, non-interoperable blockchain solution. In June 2019 Mercedes released a statement accounting to a first prototype of a closed-source solution [source].
BMW AG, BMW Group
BMW was one of the key participants in the Blockchain Mobility Hackathon [source], organised by the IOTA Foundation in mid-2018, bringing the majority of german vehicle manufactures and mobility service providers together for collaborative participation. Dominik Pietsch, a BMW manager states in a video taken at the event that “collaboration and competition is the future of mobility” [video], embracing the collaborative hackathon with competitors. During the event, BMW reported from the hackathon through its main Twitter account [source] and congratulated its winners [source] afterwards.
Also in July 2018, Dirk Hilgenberg, “Senior Vice President Production System, Technical Planning, Tool Shop, Plant Construction” at the BMW Group visited [source] the RWTH Aachen Campus (Industrial IOTA Lab, IILA) for a presentation of its IOTA-based industrial “Internet-of-Production” demonstrator [video], securing an audit trail for component data on the IOTA ledger [source], as well as paying machines directly for their work or associated data [source].
In January 2019, BMW published a job offer for someone willing to write their thesis on “blockchain for logistics and compare different projects such as Hyperledger, Ethereum, and IOTA”.[source].
In February 2019, Catherine Thomas from Outlier Ventures, an early IOTA investor [source], attended a meeting at the global BMW IT center (BMW ITZ) in Munich in which IOTA is presented to be one of the three DLT’s on the roadmap of the BMW headquarter [source].
The presentation, held by Kai Demtröder “Vice President Connected Vehicle, Digital Backend, Big Data”, lists IOTA is in the category “IoT, Data and AI”, while the other two DLT’s, Ethereum and Hyperledger, are listed for “Mobility, Customer & Vehicle” and “Logistics & Manufacturing”, respectively [source].
Also in February 2019, students of the Fraunhofer Blockchain Lab presented their IOTA MAM-based platooning proof-of-concept [source] during the MOBI Grand Challenge and win the third place [source] in the finals at the BMW headquarters [source].
In May 2019 images of another BMW presentation are shared by Alexy Khrabrov, Chief Community Manager of the Trusted Internet of Things Alliance, of which IOTA is one of the 29 founding members [source] and to which BMW also has relations [source].
The shared images of a presentation of Dr. Andre Luckow, Head of Blockchain and Natural Language at the BMW AG, again tagged with the location of the BMW IT center of the BMW headquarters in Munich (BMW ITZ) list IOTA by name as one of the three DLT’s on the blockchain roadmap of the BMW headquarter [source].
Interestingly, the same presentation slides were used by an BMW employee from a Singapore BMW subsidiary, invited to present at the VeChain Summit 2019, widely lauded as proof of an official partnership between BMW and VeChain, while the final slide of the presentation showing the three DLT’s that are on BMW’s roadmap (Ethereum, Hyperledger, IOTA) were omitted [video].
The first credible account of AUDI showing interest in IOTA came from a manager of Den Norske Bank (DNB), Norways largest bank, mentioning a meeting of IOTA, AUDI and several other vehicle manufacturers [source] in mid-2018 in Berlin, Germany.
A few weeks later, AUDI participated [source] in an industry-specific Blockchain Mobility Hackathon, organised by the IOTA Foundation, bringing the majority of german vehicle manufactures and mobility service providers together for collaborative development.
Following in July 2018, AUDI and the IOTA Foundation unveiled the conclusion of a 5-months collaboration [source] in which they researched and developed new mobility ecosystem solutions enabled by the IOTA protocol.
An AUDI manager summarised the collaboration as following: “The last five months we had a great time […] working in cross-functional teams with IOTA on a new project. With the focus on enabling trust for the user in E-mobility we pushed a new use case to reality.” [source]
Jaguar Land Rover
In April 2019, Jaguar Land Rover published an article stating its partnership with the IOTA Foundation [source] and intention to integrate “smart wallets” in their vehicles, enabling owners to “earn credits by enabling their cars to automatically report useful data”. In the Jaguar Land Rover Shannon office in Ireland, Jaguar Land Rover engineers reportedly have successfully equipped several vehicles with wallets and piloted integrations like automated toll-booth payments [source].
In May 2019, Nick Rogers, Executive Director at Jaguar Land Rover presented at BOSCH Connected World 2019 on the topic of “Economy of Things” [source], including IOTA payments for in-vehicle rewards [source] and other payments [source].
In February 2019, Groupe Renault, together with industry co-sponsors Engie Lab Crigen, Birdz (Veolia), Sopra Steria, Tech Mahindra, Future State CoFoundery, the City of Austin and the IOTA Foundation hosted a contest [source] to encourage the development of innovative Smart City solutions, leveraging IOTA’s distributed ledger technology. The contest yielded 346 participants and 28 submissions [source].
In February 2018, Porsche representatives were present at an IOTA meetup for StartupAutobahn [source], followed by an official statement of Porsche that it is looking forward to the collaboration With IOTA [source].
In April 2018, Porsche representatives supposedly joined a presentation of Samuel Reid (IF) at the Google Campus in Spain [source]. During an interview later that month, Eric Hop (IF) again mentioned IOTA’s relations to Porsche [source].
Later in May 2018, a manager of Den Norske Bank (DNB), Norways largest bank, mentions in an interview that he recently met with representatives from Porsche, several other automotive manufactures and the IOTA Foundation in Berlin [source].
In February 2018, a reputable german business magazine reports on IOTA working with Deutsche Bahn on a data marketplace [source].
In June 2018, a tweet from Regine Haschka-Helmer (IF) shows Dominik Schiener (IF) and the (assumed) press secretary of Deutsche Bahn posing together at the world’s largest electronics fair, Cebit 2018, referencing a “meeting” and announcing “more to come” [source, deleted].
In July 2018, Deutsche Bahn participates as one of the key participants in the Blockchain Mobility Hackathon [source], organised by the IOTA Foundation, bringing the majority of german vehicle manufactures and mobility service providers together for collaborative development.
In October 2018, Deutsche Bahn invited Regine Haschka-Helmer (IF) as speaker to its “2nd Blockchain Public Day” [source].
In January 2019, Deutsche Bahn published a job ad for a software engineer with experience in Hyperledger and IOTA [source].
Ford Motor Company
In May 2019, representatives from Ford Germany visited [source] the RWTH Aachen Campus (Industrial IOTA Lab, IILA) for a presentation of its IOTA-based industrial “Internet-of-Production” demonstrator [video], securing an audit trail for component data on the IOTA ledger [source], as well as paying machines directly for their work or data [source].
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)
BOSCH is the 7th largest, world-wide private non-governmental company by revenue [source] and the largest automotive equipment manufacturer globally [source].
Unsurprisingly for a company on this size developing solutions for hundreds of business verticals, BOSCH was one of the first major entities with an interest in IOTA and the first global corporation ever disclosing a “sizeable” (between 2–20 million Euro stated range on its website) investment in IOTA tokens at the end of 2017 [source].
In January 2018, BOSCH engineers held the first, and so far only Reddit Ask-Me-Anything session by a major corporation in regard to distributed ledgers [source]. In the same month, Dominik Schiener (IF) was invited by BOSCH to present IOTA at its Bosch IoT Campus in Berlin [source].
In February 2018, BOSCH invites Dominik Schiener (IF) to present IOTA to its customers and clients at the BOSCH Connected World 2018 [video]. Also in February 2018, Sarah Nizze, a manager for BOSCH IoT Marketing from BOSCH Software Innovations tweeted about integrating IOTA into autonomous vehicles [source].
In April of 2018, BOSCH published an interview with Dominik Schiener (IF) on its website [source].
In May 2018, BOSCH is a key participant in the Blockchain Mobility Hackathon [source], organised by the IOTA Foundation in mid-2018, bringing the majority of german vehicle manufactures and mobility service providers together for collaborative development [source].
In August 2018, BOSCH published two video interviews with Dominik Schiener (IF) on its official Youtube Channel [video], explaining what blockchain is, as well as the potential of distributed ledgers [video] and an accompanying article on its website [source], promoted by the Twitter channel of BOSCH Software Innovations [source].
In August 2018, BOSCH reiterated in a tweet answering a user that it is looking to intensify its cooperation with IOTA [source]. Also in August, Uwe Röhm, Manager for Process Integration of BOSCH North America explained the advantages of IOTA in a video [video] during an event at the Chicago Connectory, which was founded by BOSCH.
In September 2018, BOSCH Rexroth, a subsidiary, provided free BOSCH XDK 110 sensor modules [source] for an IOTA community project called XDK2MAM.
In November 2018, BOSCH published an article “Everything you need to know about IOTA, XDK2MAM and Bosch XDK” [source], explaining the IOTA software integration of the XDK2MAM team for the BOSCH XDK 110 sensor module and promotes it through the BOSCH Connected Devices and Solutions Twitter account [source]. Later in November 2018, BOSCH included the XDK2MAM software library in its official software ecosystem page [source].
Also later in November, Peter Busch, Product Owner for DLTs in Mobility at BOSCH was quoted with “Bosch is very close to use IoT together with IOTA” [source] after a presentation at the Frankfurt School of Blockchain [source].
In February 2019, representatives from the Bosch XDK Team and BOSCH Connected Devices and Solutions visited the Industrial IOTA Lab Aachen of the WZL of the University Aachen and talked about further use-cases of the IOTA-based XDK2MAM library within IILA’s Internet-of-Production demonstrator [source].
In March 2019, BOSCH published an article describing an IoT gateway software for smart factories that “will be able to pre-process data and execute local data analysis, as well as accept payments with cryptocurrencies like IOTA” [source].
In April 2019, BOSCH published an article about data monetization, mentioning two options for payments: fiat or IOTA [source].
In May 2019, members from IOTA and Alexander Rieger from BOSCH USA [source] gave an update on IOTA at the Chicago Connectory [source]. Later in May, BOSCH published a video explaining blockchain, as well as the alternative approaches for use-cases with higher transaction requirements “in which every transaction confirms two previous transactions” [video].
ZF is rather unknown, yet the 5th largest automotive utility manufacturer worldwide [source]. Also rather unknown is a presentation of Dominik Schiener (IF) in late 2017 in Shanghai where he superficially grazed a collaboration between IOTA and ZF [source].
As this was the only occasion ZF has been mentioned in regard to IOTA, it either is one of the undisclosed collaborations of the Foundation or a proof-of-concept that hasn’t matured further.
ZF hosts a website for a “Car eWallet” based on an undisclosed blockchain [source]. The subsidiary company hosting the website, “ZF Car eWallet GmbH”, is located at the Betahaus in Berlin at which IOTA had its office before it moved to a new location.
EDAG Engineering Group AG
The EDAG Engineering Group AG is one of the largest independent development partner of the automotive and aviation industry worldwide [source].
In July 2018, Jacek Burger, Project Lead for AI & Embedded Systems, from EDAG talked about developments regarding IOTA which were presented at the Ecosytem Highly Automated Driving in an interview, and announces “more to come in autumn” [video].
In August 2018, EDAG announced to host an event for automotive OEMs where IOTA use cases for the automotive industry, IOTA payment systems, e-wallets, autonomous driving, pay-per-use models and supply chain examples were presented and discussed [source].
In September 2018, Shadi Aburok and Alexander Süssemilch from EDAG gave a presentation about “IOTA as M2M gateway for identification, verification and payment layer for off-street parking”, based on their proof-of-concept, presented at the at previous event [source].
In October 2018, EDAG published an article, announcing further development of concepts to utilise IOT [source]. Also in October, Alisa Maas (IF) and Andreas Osowski (IF) wereinvitwd to introduce IOTA to several automotive OEMs [source] at an EDAG event.
in May 2019, Alexander Renz (IF) and Markus Soppa, the CEO of Accessec were invited as speakers to the 14th Handelsblatt Jahrestagung, Germany’s most prestigious economic forum, which was moderated by the EDAG CEO, to talk about “Blockchain and Mobility” and “Utility vehicles and new mobility concepts für blockchain” [source].
Other mobility and infrastructure entities
In October 2017, ElaadNL, a joint initiative of Dutch energy grid operators, presented the world’s first cryptocurrency-enabled electric vehicle charging station as a proof-of-concept based on IOTA [source]. A video of explaining the charger in action was released half a year later [source].
Another IOTA-based charging prototype was presented a few days later by NetObjex [source] at an event of the International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC).
Also in October 2017, Sebastian Rohr, CEO of Accessec GmbH, presented on secure identities for Internet of Things entities, referencing IOTA [source].
In November 2017, Eurelectric, The Union of the Electricity Industry in Europe, published a report dubbed “Freedom of Charging: Opportunities and Challenges of Blockchain Technology for seamless Electro-mobility”, referencing IOTA. [source]
In December 2017, NetObjex demonstrated a decentralized smart parking solution based on IOTA [source].
In December 2017, Applied Autonomy AS invited IOTA to „shape Norways future autonomous, electric and connected mobility“ [source]. The Municipality of Bærum later published a presentation of Applied Autonomy, naming IOTA their partner in an autonomous mobility testbed in Kongsberg, Norway [source].
In January 2018, APG|SGA published a press release describing its proof-of-concept, connecting smart city sensors through Swisscom’s LoRa network to the IOTA data marketplace [source].
Also in January 2018, the City of Taipei, announced a partnership with the IOTA Foundation to incorporate distributed ledger technology into smart city applications [video].
In May 2018, NetObjex introduced new DLT in its automotive Digital Twin Platform, based on IOTA and other DLT’s [source].
Also in May 2018, Sebastian Rohr, CEO of Accessec is invited by the VDI WISSENSFORUM to present IOTA for industrial IT security and IT security for vehicles [source].
In September 2018, Terry Shane from the Canadian BIOTASPHERE presented a proof-of-concept for a situation-based car insurance models, reading live data from a Tesla X, streaming it to the IOTA tangle and paying insurance fees based on driver behaviour [video]. Shane later stated that he was already in contact with insurers [source].
In October 2018, High Mobility, offering a cross-platform software integration suite for several automotive manufacturers and the IOTA Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the integration of IOTA content, blueprints and tutorials [source].
In November 2018, Sven Feuchtmüller from Accessec gave an update on the progress of the Accessec car wallet [video].
Also in November, Carvertical announced to use IOTA as a backend for their automated parking payment solution “CarVertical.city” including the option to pay via IOTA tokens [video].
Further, the New Mobility Lab tweeted about its progress towards realisation of a standardised system for autonomous vehicles with IOTA and the Illinois Autonomous Vehicle Association [source].
Also in Novemeber 2018, TRIVE.ME, a subsidiary of the EDAG Group, published an article on co-hosting the IOTA Forum for Future Mobility in Lindau, Germany, where they presented their PoC trive.park [source].
In February 2019, Jannik Lockl from the Fraunhofer Institute presented a mobility platooning proof-of-concept based on IOTA [video]. Later on, the Fraunhofer Institute published an extensive article describing the proof of concept [source].
Also in February, members of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering (UCLA) published a paper on “MOTIVE: Micropayments for trusted vehicular services” using IOTA for payments, including accompanying GitHub repositories and a video of their proof of concept [source].
Furthermore, Accessec released an integrated IOTA Tangle-based car wallet and point of sale demonstrator [source].
In April 2019, Akita Blockchain Solutions presented an IOTA-based proof of concept, a “car [that] makes an automated, real time micro-transactions to a parking space based on the exact parking duration. Afterwards the parking space pays tax to a virtual government machine wallet” at the Smart Dubai Blockchain Challenge [video].
Regulatory bodies, governments and mobility special interest groups
In July 2017, IOTA was one of the 29 founding members of the Trusted Internet of Things Alliance (TIoTA), in which also BOSCH and Ubirch are a member [source].
In January 2018, the International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC) announced its partnership with the IOTA Foundation to develop smart mobility testbeds [source].
In May 2018, IOTA joined the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) and its members BOSCH, Groupe Renault, BMW, FORD, General Motors, ZF Friedrichshafen (and others) [source].
In October 2018, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur, BMVI) invited Alisa Maas (IF) to an expert group to prepare a report on “Blockchain Technology in the mobility sector” [source].
In December 2018, the IEEE invited Jochen Renz (IF) to present about “DLT in New Mobility” at the IEEE Fall Conference in Chicago [source].
In April 2019, the City of Austin Transportation Department announced that it is partnering with the IOTA Foundation to „bring the future of mobility to Austin, Texas“ [source]. Later that month, Dominik Schiener (IF), Matthew Yarger (IF) and representatives from the City of Austin held a public meeting providing further insights into their vision of the future [video], also later on meeting with the Major of Austin, Texas [source].
In May 2019, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur, BMVI) published an extensive expert report on “Chances and challenges of DLT in Mobility and Logistics”, analyzing 8 DLT’s in detail, of which IOTA is one of the three permissionless systems (next to ETH and BTC) [source].
Later in May, the ministry hosted an event at which the Fraunhofer Institute presented its IOTA-based platooning prototype [source].
At the end of May 2019, Anne Smith (IF) was invited by the German Union of the Automotive Industry (Verband der Automobilindustrie, VDA) to give a presentation on IOTA [source]. She was invited again at the end of June for two presentation on “IOTA for mobility and automotive” and “[the] importance and relevance of digital payments for Mobility-As-A-Service (MaaS) and ConnectedCar solutions” at the New Mobility World Digitaltage conference of the VDA [source].
In June 2019, Matthew Yarger (IF) discussed IOTA at a joint meeting of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority [video].
In September 2017, IOTA was invited to present at the world’s largest automotive fair, the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) in Germany [source].
In late 2017, IOTA was invited to present at “Autonomy” [video], the annual Autonomy & Urban Mobility Summit.
In February 2018, IOTA was invited to present at Mobility Pioneers 2018 [source].
In July 2018, the IOTA Foundation together with partners hosted the Blockchained Mobility Hackathon, for the first time bringing together manufacturers and suppliers from the mobility sector, usually competing with each other, to develop mobility solutions collaboratively. Participants include AUDI AG, BMW AG, BOSCH, Volkswagen Group, Deutsche Bahn, Siemens AG and others [source].
Also in July, Alisa Mass (IF) won the first round of Startup Autobahn for IOTA [source].
In August 2018, the IEEE Vehicular Tech Conference invited Jochen Renz (IF) to speak about “distributed ledger technology in automotive” [source].
In October 2018, the IAA Convention, Fahrzeug Telematik Award 2018 invited Janine Härtel (IF) to a panel discussion about “KI, Blockchain and autonomous driving” [video].
In November 2018, the Automobilwoche Congress 2018 invited Klaus Schaaf (IF) to a panel discussion about “Blockchain in the Automotive Industry” [source].
Also in November, the Zentrum Digitalisierung Bayern invited Alisa Maas (IF) to present on the topic of blockchain solutions for the mobility sector [source].
In January 2019, Jochen Renz (IF) hosted a casual IOTA Meetup at the CES 2019 LAS VEGAS, at the High Mobility booth [source].
In February 2019, Mobility Pioneers 2019 invited Dominik Schiener (IF) again to give a talk about “How Blockchain is Enabling a Truly Shared Economy” and a real-life demonstration [source].
Also in February, the IOTA-based platooning proof of concept developed by the Fraunhofer Institute wins the third place during the MOBI Grand Challenge [source] and in June the first place at the DLD Conference [source].
In April 2019, Alexander Renz (IF) represented the IOTA Foundation in a talk about “Blockchains in the New Mobility” at the Vehicle Electronics & Connected Services conference in Gothenburg, Sweden [source].
Later in April, Jochen Renz (IF) presented “The car as its own economic agent” in the blockchain track of the SAE WCX World Congress [source].
Given the long development cycles of the mobility industry and the fact that IOTA hasn’t been declared production ready yet, it is unsurprising that there haven’t been any IOTA-based mobility products released so far.
But considering that there are over 2,000 DLT solutions, it is surprising that the mobility industry has a stronger focus on IOTA than any other of the offered solutions. Some are also looking into other DLT’s, but the overall interest in IOTA displayed by the mobility industry as well as the dozens of running collaborations with it is unmatched in the DLT realm.
Four factors might have lead to this strong focus:
- Unlike any of the thousands DLT’s, IOTA enables a trustless open source environment enabling anyone to use, alter or enhance the protocol to transact value (as in “valuable data” or tokens) free of charge. Fees for high frequency transactions, as expected by the amounts of data handled in the mobility sector, would eat into the revenue of entities using a fee-driven alternative.
- While the overwhelming majority of DLT’s doesn’t have a viable idea on how to scale or relies on others to develop solutions, from its very beginning IOTA strives for “unlimited” scalability and recently presented the theoretical proof for its solution. For any business looking to base revenue streams on distributed ledger technology, scalability is a prerequisite of the most basic order: Risking revenue because a DLT might become successful and reaches its capacity limits, naturally isn’t an option for any serious business.
- Other than any of the existing DLT’s, IOTA has been granted the legal status of a registered non-profit foundation by the German authorities and is thereby regulated by the German government. Assurance and trust due to the governmental oversight and the certainty that the IOTA Foundation isn’t able to act in ways that would enrich itself or its members provides business partners with a risk free environment for collaboration and a more sustainable technological setting excluding personal interests hardly any other DLT is able to offer.
- The IOTA Foundation is headquartered in Germany, which is also the home of a majority of the largest premium vehicle manufacturers and OEM’s. IOTA is therefore “close” in terms of distance as well as business ethics and cultural beliefs.
The future isn’t set in stone. But judging by the amount and quality of interest, the promise of IOTA’s immutable, decentralised, feelees and scalable protocol seems to be very appealing to mobility providers and the challenges they face.
Given its already established connections and collaborations, it seems nothing could stop IOTA from becoming a standard in the mobility sector if it can deliver on its promises. As of today, it very well looks like it would have a decent chance to become just that: a standard.
About the author:
My name is Ben. For the better part of the last 20 years I worked as a digital product developer at the intersection of IT, analysis, strategy, business and communication for multinational corporations in Europe and Asia, developing answers to the questions of what, who, how, where, when and why. Coincidentally i worked ~8 years for a german premium vehicle manufacturer.
Caring deeply about technology, I spend my spare time exploring new technological concepts and architectures like IOTA, investigating its meaning and its potential influence on business models and society.
The iotaarchive.com is a private repository tracking the progress of IOTA in different business verticals. New archive entries are published on twitter.com/_iotaarchive as-it-happens, in case you are interested.
If you feel generous, feel free to send me some IOTA to keep the servers running: QIXHISSVMPUYKTMTCECFVBJSR9TGJI9D9YNHTWMNXQFYELG9INHUAHTHKJBYMWA9GPWXAYSYVTEHFR9ZYYCVSAGOKD