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Automotive & Mobility
In mobility, there have been gradual innovations for decades, but with the digital transformation combined with the electric motor, we are facing extremely big steps at the same time. Almost all systems of a car are affected and in addition, many new opportunities arise in the digitally connected world. IOTA aims to be the standard for transactions and data exchange in affordable and sustainable transportation.
IOTA could have a huge impact on how we perceive and experience mobility in the future. The traditional business models of the automotive industry are being challenged in this context. While technological breakthroughs have led to vehicles becoming more connected and increasingly autonomous, the traditional business models of car manufacturers will have to change accordingly.
Cars are becoming digital platforms, and therefore digital services and digital content in and around the car are becoming more important than the car itself. Smooth transfer of value and wealth is a prerequisite for this digital economy around machines, and IOTA is the technology to build the interfaces for this and create an ecosystem of unlimited mobility, with real-time payments without fees, secure data transfer and immutable data storage.
The need for new tools for a new economy becomes even more apparent with the prospect of autonomous vehicles. Eventually, these vehicles could become their own economic agents with their own wallets and money. Cars will be able to pay autonomously for parking, for charging their batteries, for tolls, and for any other service you can imagine.
Various possible examples of use cases
Charging and selling energy
As electric vehicles and renewable energy become the new standard, vehicles can also earn money themselves by participating in P2P energy trading while helping to stabilize energy grids. Here’s how that would work: The car is connected to the grid and is not needed. Now the grid is supplied with energy from the vehicles because there is a high demand in the grid right now (discharging the car). The cars are paid for their provided energy with IOTA tokens. This energy trade makes really sense in connection with a photovoltaic system where you get the energy from the sun for free. Conversely, in times of oversupply and weak demand, people without a photovoltaic system can be automatically induced to charge their cars when the price of electricity is cheaper.
The IF is taking important steps in this direction: The first proof of concept for charging stations based entirely on IOTA has already been created in collaboration with the ElaadNL Foundation, which has developed the leading protocol for communication between charging stations and backend software. See also “Smart Energy”.
Microtransactions without central intermediaries
With IOTA, anyone can build their own tools for frictionless machine-to-machine communication and eventually create an economy between cars and their immediate connected environment (e.g., smart homes, smart infrastructure). In a digital economy, transactions between machines must be able to be particularly small. So-called microtransactions must be fee-less for this to make sense. A centralized entity charging fees is not realistic in a machine-to-machine economy. IOTA enables peer-to-peer asset transfer and money exchange without centralized intermediaries and without fees.
Data ownership and monetization of data
Decentralization is not only critical in the coming machine-to-machine economy. A decentralized approach to data ownership would give us control over when data can be used by third parties and how much they must pay for it. Vehicles can collect sensor and actuator data and store it securely in the IOTA Tangle. From there, it can be offered for sale in virtual marketplaces to other road users, researchers or urban planners, for example.
With the IOTA proof of concept of a data marketplace, IOTA gives its partners the opportunity to monetize their data.
IOTA will help to generate savings on digital content and data. It will also be part of the technology that makes cars safer and more reliable by allowing them to receive software updates over-the-air. This is said to be part of the “Connected Car” system. According to an official statement, Volkswagen plans to use the Tangle primarily in smart vehicles.
The basic prerequisite for this is the secure and efficient exchange of data and payments. This exchange requires a basic technology such as IOTA, which can be used in a decentralized, verifiable and unchangeable manner by multiple parties.
This means that in road traffic, several vehicles drive behind each other at a very close distance with the help of a technical control system. Since the following vehicles save fuel because of the lower wind resistance, they could send IOTA tokens to the lead vehicle to compensate for the increased fuel consumption of the lead vehicle. This would be a “win-win” situation for all involved.
Students at the University of Bayreuth are developing an IOTA-based platooning prototype under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Gilbert Fridgen at the Fraunhofer Blockchain Lab.
One conceivable solution would be a decentralized IOTA system that records all vehicles and uses this data to calculate the best routes. This would make long traffic jams a thing of the past.In addition, the numerous sensors in the vehicles could send safety-relevant information to other vehicles driving behind them.
It would be possible to offer car insurance, which is only paid if you actually drive your car. The whole system would thus be fairer, because frequent drivers would pay more than people who only get into their cars a few times a month.
The two companies BiiLabs & TransIoT are already working on this topic, see here.
Another company that has taken on the topic of car insurance, among others, is biotasphere.
This will play a major role in our future mobility system. Up to 90 percent of all trips in large cities will be made via carsharing in 10 years. The concept of carsharing is not new: The topic has been experiencing an upswing for several years. Millions of members are said to be registered with carsharing providers. Instead of being displaced, established car manufacturers are encouraged to develop models that allow them to profit from the carsharing trend. One example is Sedric, an autonomous cab from the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen showed at Cebit 2018 how carsharing could be billed using IOTA (to the kilometer).
Data tracking of history, tracking of data (e.g., mileage).
“The cars of the future will have to transact billions of times. The cryptocurrency IOTA can be optimally used for this purpose, which is why VW is very interested in IOTA technology.” – Johann Jungwirth, at that time Chief Digital Officer of Volkswagen AG
Last Updated on 16. February 2021