Category Archives: Ford

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Worlds Largest Car Producers Form Blockchain Alliance

Major global car producers, BMW, General Motors, Ford, and Renault have joined with other companies to launch the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative.

Also, Bosch, Hyperledger, IOTA, and IBM are part of the project’s 30 strong membership which has been formed to explore the potential of blockchain in the mobility space.

MOBI suggests that the group’s goal is not to create a particular distributed ledger, but create common standards to enable data sharing and make transportation, “safer, more affordable, and widely accessible using blockchain technology.”

The new cooperative aims to enable payments and data-sharing between cars, creating a new digital mobility ecosystem, from ride-sharing to self-driving vehicles and everything in between. MOBI states that it also wants to examine areas such as autonomous cars and ride sharing.

There are other such projects currently operating. French carmaker, Renault, one of the MOBI participants, has joined the R3 research consortium, and German company, Daimler, is part of the Hyperledger project from the Linux Foundation. Also, Japanese maker Toyota has been conducting its own research into utilizing DLT. However, unlike some of these projects, MOBI plans to focus its attention completely on the automotive space and how blockchain can improve it.

Chris Ballinger, CEO of MOBI,  sees the new technology as having a huge impact, maintaining that the car is the next “big data battleground. It’s a trillion-dollar prize.” He comments:

“Blockchain and related trust enhancing technologies are poised to redefine the automotive industry and how consumers purchase, insure and use vehicles…by bringing together automakers, suppliers, startups, and government agencies, we can accelerate adoption for the benefit of businesses, consumers and communities.”

Ballinger points out the importance of data generated inside the car, given that the average commuter spends two hours a day in their car and is often using the internet asking virtual assistants for directions. Also, the data generated by the car itself is significant, with an estimated 25 gigabytes of data an hour being produced by a connected vehicle.

Ballinger maintains:

“That data might be out there, but nobody is sharing it and so the day, when we get safe cars, is probably further away than it otherwise could be.”

 

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New Ford Innovation Proposes Blockchain Technology

In a document released last week, it was revealed that the US motor giant Ford was awarded a patent to alleviate traffic congestion on American roads. The patent, Vehicle-to-Vehicle Cooperation to Marshal Traffic is designed to evaluate driver behavior to improve coordination by drivers on the road by communicating with each other en route aided by blockchain technology.

The proposed concept, the Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass System (CMMP) will allow participating monitors to monitor and record other driver behaviors along with their own in order to improve traffic flow and ease congestion. The patent suggests that traffic congestion occurs when one or more lanes of a multilane road are blocked, for example, because of a construction or an accident. The blocked lanes impede traffic flow which is further exacerbated by the psychological traits of other drivers.

The system would allow for participating vehicles to drive at higher speeds in less occupied lanes. Other drivers (merchants) then voluntarily drive in the slower lanes in order for faster drivers to merge into their lane and pass, thus maintaining traffic flow.

CMMP tokens

The CMMP system will operate with individual token-based transactions, where the merchant vehicles and the consumers’ vehicles agree to trade units of cryptocurrency (CMMP tokens). The tokens validate a transaction in which a ‘consumer’ has requested that a ‘merchant’ occupy the slower lane.

Time allotted to each request will be based on the number of CMMP tokens to spent at that time. The patent explains:

“For example, a driver of a consumer vehicle which is running late for an appointment may request to pass any participating merchant vehicles for a duration of 10 minutes on a particular road or highway for 60 CMMP tokens, at a rate of 10 seconds preferential access per token.”

Ford states that is looking to further develop the idea by seeking blockchain research expertise in order to deliver the best user experiences for its customers.

Blockchain technology is being utilized increasingly in innovated projects around the globe that are designed to improve the conditions of everyday users in daily life.

 

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