By IoTeX Foundation

There are currently about 1.4 billion cars on roads around the world. Experts estimate that number could increase to about 2.5 billion by 2035, 80% of which will be IoT connected. That’s a lot of cars, and the data they generate will have great monetary value. By 2030, the globally connected vehicle market is forecast to be worth from $450 billion to $750 billion, according to a September 2021 Ericsson report

A McKinsey study entitled Monetizing Car Data mentions a consumer poll conducted in Germany, the US, and China. Over 90% of those surveyed said they were willing to share their data in exchange for a more secure drive, lower costs, increased convenience, and to save time.

Modern vehicles come with powerful computers and sensors that collect information and create rich, reliable, and accurate streams of mobility data. Today, that data is owned mainly by Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, who profit significantly from users’ private information.

Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) is a global nonprofit smart mobility consortium. MOBI and its members are creating blockchain-based standards to identify vehicles, people, businesses, and MOBI Trusted Trip, with the goal of making transportation more efficient, equitable, sustainable, safer, and less congested. Preserving data privacy is integral to the MOBI mission, its Trusted Trip initiative, and New Economy of Movement.

For years, under the MOBI umbrella, vehicle manufacturers have been exploring blockchain use cases for decentralized usage-based mobility payments, including parking tickets and highway tolls.

Drivers can also benefit from the ability to monetize their mobility data. IoTeX’s mission lies in enabling drivers to profit from the data their vehicles generate. Its objective is to empower people to regain rightful control over their vehicle data from Big Tech, which has been profiting off of this information for years.

But first, let’s talk about MOBI’s first project: the creation of the Vehicle Identity Standard (VID). MOBI VID aims to define a blockchain-based digital identity for each vehicle that has a secure digital ledger of its history, including a Vehicle Birth Certificate. Unlike paper vehicle ID documents, a blockchain-based record can’t be lost, left incomplete, or falsified.

MOBI has even greater ambitions that closely align with IoTeX as well. MOBI seeks to enable autonomous payments of products and services from the vehicle itself. So, how amazing would it be if your car safely stored your payment details and digitally paid for fuel, food, and so on? Here is where IoTeX steps in to collaboratively help make this machine-to-machine vision a reality. 

MOBI and IoTeX 

IoTeX has designed a unique smart device called the Pebble Tracker that helps realize many use cases for mobility. IoTeX Founding Member and Head of Blockchain, Dr. Xinxin Fan, and Head of Business Development, Larry Pang, presented the Pebble Tracker to the MOBI Community via MOBI’s Community Innovation Lecture Series in early November.

Dr. Xinxin Fan and Larry Pang shared an overview of IoTeX and the Pebble Tracker, coined the “Swiss army knife” of asset trackers. Built around Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF9160 SiP, the Pebble device comes equipped with a wide assortment of sensors, including GPS, climate, motion, and light. It also has built-in advanced security features that make it ideal for applications where trust is paramount. 

For the first time, with Pebble, developers can generate verifiable data and use it to inform the execution of smart contracts on the IoTeX blockchain will empower decentralized IoT solutions that go well beyond conventional asset tracking.

“Pebble Tracker is a launchpad for next-generation IoT applications rooted in verifiability and decentralization,” explained Pang.

“Pebble Tracker is more than just a dev-board — it is a full-stack platform that utilizes tamper-proof hardware and software to empower end-to-end solutions that can be verified, and therefore trusted, by anyone,” he added. “With verifiable data from Pebble Tracker and verifiable smart contracts on the IoTeX blockchain, developers can replace error-prone intermediaries with trusted data and code to jumpstart a new era of user-driven, decentralized IoT applications.”

Dr. Fan highlighted that IoTeX has enabled the direct interaction of a decentralized application (Dapp) with the real world for the first time. IoTeX is pioneering a new way to transfer digital assets across the Metaverse, metaphysically and based on insights from the real world. 

“With an increasing amount of misinformation in our world, who we trust and why we trust is of paramount importance,” Dr. Fan explained. “By replacing ‘trusted’ third parties who have consistently proven they are error-prone and manipulable, with tamper-proof hardware and software, even competitors that don’t trust each other can trust the blockchain as an unbiased, trustworthy arbiter of truth.”

While blockchains may be unique orchestration mechanisms, they cannot understand facts about the real world on their own. IoTeX is at the forefront of blockchain innovation by making it possible for smart devices to connect with the blockchain and, hence, with the Metaverse. 

That’s the role of connected, sensor-equipped devices around the world that complement the security of tamper-proof blockchains. With more devices matching their security levels, the trustworthiness of blockchains will increase and improve the reliability of decentralized networks.

MOBI Trusted Trip and the Pebble Tracker

MOBI Trusted Trip verifies real-world events during travel from point A to point B. Pebble Tracker can serve as a verifiable credential (VC) issuer to attest to accurate mobility data in real-time. At the same time, decentralized IDs (#DIDs) allow captured data to be owned by on-chain entities.

For a trip to be helpful to economic agents, it must be trusted by all parties in the transaction. MOBI defines a Trusted Trip as a trip whose attributes are validated, attested, and certified by authorized entities and devices in the decentralized co-op network. The Trusted Trip will unlock almost every imaginable use case for decentralized, usage-based applications that advance smart and green mobility, sustainability, and decarbonization.

MOBI’s Trusted Trip also includes marginal cost pricing for decentralized mobility transactions in the New Economy of Movement. The Trusted Trip ensures that data can be trusted when using a decentralized network — guaranteeing the value of the shared network remains preserved.The possibilities are endless. As long as consumers own their information and smart devices, they can monetize and benefit from them as they wish.

The intersection of blockchain, IoT, and AI will lead to a step-change in technology’s ability to automate many aspects of our lives. IoT will generate the data. AI will extract insights and value from this data, and blockchain will ensure the authenticity and safe exchange of data, tokens, and other digital assets. The future is here!