German multinational automaker BMW has recently hosted the first European Colloquium of “Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative” (MOBI) in their Munich IT centre. This is one more indication that the BMW blockchain momentum is growing.
The event once again demonstrates the importance of blockchain technology in the automobile sector. It also shows that automakers and technology giants see the immense value in working together to realize the potential of blockchain in this sector.
The automobile industry is very large, moreover, it catalyzes growth in many other auxiliary industries. Automotive parts manufacturers, logistics providers, and numerous other businesses find new growth opportunities when this industry grows.
The automobile sector has always focused on technology. The trend continues in recent years, as the industry embraces cutting-edge technologies like AI, IoT, and blockchain. There are several examples of this.
Sustainability concerns are increasingly promoting the growth of electric vehicle. The global electric vehicle market will reach $567 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 22.3%, as a report shows.
The market for connected cars will grow significantly too. A report estimates that this market will reach $219.21 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 14.8%.
AI is becoming important in this sector. Technology giants like Google and Tesla are increasingly investing in the “Driverless cars” segment, as this analysis shows.
Security and transparency are key factors that will drive the growth of these technologies in the automobile industry. Inaccurate data feed to connected cars or hacking of driverless vehicles has serious negative repercussions.
This is where blockchain can play a key role. The technology uses advanced data encryption and consensus algorithms for decentralization and tamper-proofing of data. Autonomous smart contracts execute transparently, and their outcomes are irreversible. The technology can have wide-ranging use cases in the automobile industry.
Blockchain needs collaboration
While blockchain has significant potential, the industry stakeholders have some work to do before fulfilling its’ promises. The technology is new. It emerged as the underlying technology of Bitcoin. Bitcoin supports peer-to-peer (P2P) payment transactions involving digital currencies without middlemen, however, it doesn’t support other use cases.
The automobile industry needs to enhance this technology. The industry stakeholders need to build frameworks, innovate tools, and conduct PoCs before adopting it in their operations. This calls for collaboration. MOBI is a key collaboration platform.
MOBI is a non-profit consortium. Their objective is to promote blockchain and the related technology in the automobile sector. Automakers, governments, technology companies, and NGOs collaborate here. MOBI counts automakers like BMW, Ford, GM, Renault, etc. as its’ members.
IBM is a part of MOBI, so is the Hyperledger Consortium, the collaborating platform promoting enterprise blockchain platforms. IOTA Foundation, whose IOTA cryptocurrency targets the IoT space, is also part of MOBI.
The colloquium in Munich lasted two days and covered key agenda items. Knowledge sharing, developing common standards for blockchain the automobile industry, promoting these standards were some of the important agenda items.
BMW blockchain momentum continues to pick up the pace. The company has played a key role in MOBI since the inception of the consortium. BMW is using a blockchain supply chain assurance solution. They use it to source ethically mined Cobalt for the batteries in the vehicles.
Conclusion: MOBI could catalyze blockchain adoption
BMW blockchain push is for real, as the automaker has also tested the technology for car mileage tracking. However, wider adoption of blockchain in the automobile industry needs serious collaboration, and that’s where MOBI can play an important role.