Good bye monolithic platforms, welcome to the future of dynamically defined mobility
Systemic value of data provenance through verifiable data chains
We participated in the MOBI Grand Challenge with our submission:
This article provides the background for our submission and why we think identity, digital twinning and verifiable data chains are core components of open systems.
We share our train of thoughts how technology-driven innovation and ecosystem growth in the 4th industrial revolution are significantly changing mobility value chains from monolithic, closed systems to distributed, open systems. We explain how dynamically defined value chains are emerging and how trust can be established for any new actor that starts to participate in a given digital value chain.
What does the 4th Industrial Revolution mean for mobility services?
The current speed, scope, and systems impact of technological innovation is unprecedented in human history. These massive technological advancements lead to the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) which is the convergence of the physical, biological and digital spheres blurring traditional boundaries throughout existing value chains.
The transition to 4IR systems will fundamentally change the way mobility providers create value and serve customers. This transition leads to major shifts:
From ownership to orchestration.
Mobility providers will differentiate largely by leveraging and integrating capabilities outside the firm to create innovative products and experiences, in contrast to the conventional reliance on owning and efficiently operating large-scale assets. By registering mobility assets and services anchored on decentralized ledger technology ownership and access will be tokenized, meaning owners can trade their shares or their rights to use them directly through the decentralized system. Shares in vehicles can change in accordance to their real time values. Ownership will be traded among human and non-human parties when algorithms show that would maximize economic benefits.
From sequential value chains to meshed service networks.
Consumers are not only viewed as the end users of products, but as active participants in the supply chain, from defining product concepts, to serving as last-mile delivery couriers to providing services with their assets, data or algorithms. Roles will become increasingly blurred between suppliers, manufacturers, channel partners, consumers, devices and algorithmic agents when they exchange services. The current sequential model of monolithic value chains lack the ability to integrate efficient micro-services powered by very granular data. Response time is too slow to interact with new local mobility participants on dynamically defined on-demand markets.
From corporate structures to atomic economic entities.
With open decentralized mobility systems, all providers and consumers can equally participate in a transportation system, setting the terms, conditions and pricing they choose. As digitization marginalizes transaction costs any atomic entity can be competitive in the future mobility system. Their autonomous digital twins enable them to make agile decisions, deliver micro-services and capture value on a microscopic scale.
These shifts result in entity-centric business models. Every thing with a digital twin and a connected software agent starts to transact with its environment.
The scope of the changes now underway is too vast to be addressed by incremental process and product improvements. Consequently, players that would like to stay relevant must start upgrading their products and services now. This upgrade includes a digital twin identity that can be verified by and transact with any other counter-party.
Our hypotheses about identity in the future mobility system
We are working towards digital identity solutions for entity-centric business models that are built upon the following hypotheses:
- Today’s value chains are monolithic and closed or a sequence of closed value chain steps (from A to B to C). Trust is established through bilateral verification procedures. In case C trusts B and B trusts A there is no real problem, or the problems are manageable by business processes such as validation, inspection and dispute management. However, the resulting business process costs are an inherent systemic trust tax.
- In tomorrow’s digitised and connected world, entirely different meshed service and value networks are emerging. The set of actors interacting in open systems can be dynamically defined. Transactions are multilateral and stretching across multiple digital value chains.
- Data has emerged as the most valuable asset. Future mobility systems intrinsically demand that participants share their data across a value networks and markets. Therefore, trust requires a verifiable data chain mechanism for tracing data item content, control and transformation from start to end along digital value chains.
- Digital twins and verifiable data chains will soon scale exponentially and, therefore, their costs will be marginalised.
Technology is now breaking up the sequence of bilateral transactions in traditional value chains. Consequently, any product or service in such a system will have a verifiable digital twin identity that (1) can participate and transact with any other given counter-party on dynamically defined local markets, (2) can be independently verified by any new actor and (3) can actively verify the provenance of data in a given digital value chain.
Enabling existing products and service through digital twinning
Spherity’s digital twins enable companies today to start building products and services with a digital identity and to stay competitive in tomorrow’s meshed value networks.
Therefore, we designed our digital twins to be interoperable, addressable, discoverable, verifiable (to establish trust about its attributes) and being able to engage in transactions with any other counter-party via software agents.
Data provenance to establish trust in distributed systems
When more and more algorithms and sensor fusion mechanisms are injected into the mobility system the question of trust goes much beyond bilateral transactions.
To enable decisions, trust — stretching across an entire digital value network involving multiple data sources, algorithms and actors — is a key enabler for the network to function properly. Any control system, risk product or business processes is dependent on independent means for trust verification.
Any given data set might have many input sources that might have been manipulated before by different algorithms. Trust in a giving data sets can be established by three mechanisms:
- Reputation systems
- Algorithmic plausibility checks
- Data provenance (our focus)
Data provenance is of utmost importance when safety in a mobility system is concerned.
By data provenance we mean a mechanism for tracing data item content and control through a processing system including any transformation to the data item. This includes flows with multiple sources, collective sensor fusion and processing by machine learning algorithms. Data provenance means not just tracing control but also verifying the end-to-end integrity of every data flow including any transformations (additions, deletions, modifications, combinations, and ML processing).
There are problems in today’s mobility systems such as tracking, tracing, audit trails, provenance and authenticity that can be addressed with our verifiable digital twins.
Digital twins provide digital identity for human and non-human entities that transact on open and distributed digital infrastructures. We are enabling companies today to learn and upgrade their products and services to participate in tomorrow’s highly connected and digitized mobility system.
Digital twins are foundational to enable shifts driven by 4IR, to upgrade products, to enable participation and to stay relevant with your products.
Verifiable data chains are enabling OEMs and insurance companies
- to sell services to software agents (such as Amazon Alexa) of any human or non-human participant,
- to measure the quality of data for autonomous driving,
- to engage with risk digital twins of a given participant and
- to stay competitive in a world when profits are generated by highly specific algorithmic agents and connected autonomous economic entities.
We bring your products and services to the next level to compete in an interlinked digital world.
You will find a video explaining to concept of data provenance and verifiable data chains in our MOBI Grand Challenge submission. If you like it please select #1 A DID for every thing and vote for us here.
We are now moving from monolithic to open and distributed systems in which the importance of data provenance is increasing significantly. We suggest to start building systems with embedded data provenance. When you start building such systems get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Klaus Schwab, WEF, 2016, The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond
 Dr. Carsten Stöcker, WEF, 2016, Goodbye car ownership, hello clean air: welcome to the future of transport
 Dr. Carsten Stöcker, Dr. Burkhard Blechschmidt, 2017, How Blockchain Can Slash the Manufacturing “Trust Tax”
 Klaus Schwab, contributing author Carsten Stöcker, WEF, 2018, Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution
 Gartner Research, 2018, Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018: Digital Twins
 WEF Insights Report, 2018, Identity in a Digital World A new chapter in the social contract
 Mauricio Zuazua, AT Kearney, 2019, The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change production forever. Here’s how