IOTA and the mobility sector: a complete rundown
The full article was originally published by IOTA Archive on Medium. Read the full article here.
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.