MOBI Announces Citopia, the Second Phase of the MOBI Grand Challenge

15 May 2023 — The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), a nonprofit consortium that counts the majority of the world’s largest automakers as members, including BMW, Groupe Renault, Honda, GM, and Ford, as well as The World Economic Forum, Denso, IBM, and Accenture, kicks off today the smart cities initiative “Citopia”, the second phase of the three-year MOBI Grand Challenge (MGC) tournament.

With more than a combined $1 million worth of prizes expected over the three-year tournament, the MGC invites developers around the world to explore blockchain applications for improving urban mobility. Citopia is launched today at the MOBI Colloquium hosted by the Fifth Smart Cities India Expo in New Delhi and focuses on token incentives to improve human behaviors and make urban mobility greener, safer and more accessible.

The ultimate goal of the three-year challenge is to create the first viable, decentralized, ad-hoc network of blockchain connected IoT, and smart infrastructure, that can reliably share data, participate in transactions, coordinate behavior, and result in improved human mobility. By the end of the third year, winning teams of the MGC will be expected to demonstrate how blockchains and related technologies, such as distributed ledgers, cryptography, tokens, and consensus mechanisms, can leverage the connections and computing power of smart cities.

Phase One of the challenge began on October 12, 2018, at MOBI’s Grand Challenge launch event in New Mexico, USA. 25 teams competing across four continents rendered submissions addressing the most common payment action in automobiles today: usage-based payment for infrastructure, including blockchain tolls. In early 2019 in Munich, Germany, at BMW’s Group IT Center, first and second prize-winners, Chorus Mobility and Oaken Innovations were honored with a culminating showcase event as the highlight at MOBI’s first Colloquium in Germany.

Citopia, MGC Phase Two, uses tokenized incentives to address the holy grail of mobility: reducing congestion, pollution and carbon footprint thru usage-based payment for infrastructure and resources. Over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities and more than 1 million people around the world migrate every week from rural areas to cities, causing huge burdens on the existing infrastructure, especially transport systems. Furthermore, countries with the highest rates of urbanization also report high rates of personal motorization, leading to more greenhouse gas emissions. Without the development of accessible and sustainable transportation systems, these trends will accelerate submissions will promote the creation of greener cities through congestion pricing, carbon footprint management, parking, climate change. 1 Citopia usage-based payments for infrastructure, multi-model transit, data exchange and micro-payments.

“Innovators have made incredible strides in the first phase of the MGC. In the next phase, we explore incentives for using alternative modes of transport to ease congestion, pollution, and increase the longevity of existing infrastructure. We imagine a community being called to the task, supported by targeted incentives, including all key stakeholders at the table seeking to drive positive behavioral change in urban mobility.” said Tram Vo, MOBI’s Chief Creative Officer.

The second phase of the MGC showcases global judges who play mission-critical roles across public and private sectors and municipalities, including the city of Seattle, Los Angeles, Singapore and EU representatives, as well as architects from the US Department of Transportation’s 2015 Smart Cities Challenge.

“I’m privileged to be on the judging panel of Citopia. I’ve always been an advocate of blockchain and strongly believe
that it will be the catalyst to enable the birth of game-changing technology for a better tomorrow.” Said Kit Ker, Deputy
Director of New Industry for Enterprise Singapore. She continued “I can’t wait to embark on this exciting process along
with fellow judges from around the world.”

About the MOBI Grand Challenge (MGC)
The MOBI Grand Challenge is an event loosely modeled on the DARPA grand challenge for autonomous driving. In 2004, the DARPA challenge captured the public imagination and launched the autonomous driving revolution. However, unlike the DARPA challenge, the MOBI Grand Challenge focuses on improving the capabilities of autonomous cars by sharing data and coordinating movement using blockchains. This is the second challenge of a three-year project. The goal of the MGC is to create a viable, decentralized, ad-hoc network of blockchain connected vehicles on distributed ledgers and infrastructure that can reliably share data, coordinate behavior, and ultimately improve urban mobility.

About MGC Phase II Prize Sponsors
Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms to individuals, companies and governments.

Ocean Protocol, a blockchain enabled data exchange protocol to enable the data sharing needed for developers, data and AI specialists to offer the world an autonomous and efficient mobility solution.

R3, an enterprise blockchain software firm working with a broad ecosystem across multiple industries to develop on Corda, its open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise, a commercial version for enterprise usage.

Additional prizes to be announced throughout the course of the challenge.

About MGC Phase II Panel of Judges
Submissions will be judged on the following categories: Creativity, Technical Merit, Potential Impact, and Feasibility.

  • Manojit Bose, Chief Knowledge Officer at Pune Smart City Development Corp. This organization aims for a smarter future through developments in IT infrastructure, transportation and mobility, urban spaces and in general living conditions for the citizens in Pune city.
  • Francisco Contreras, Innovation Manager at the City of West Hollywood. West Hollywood is finding creative solutions for managing its urban environment through smart technology and urban innovation, and is dedicated to preserving and enhancing its community’s well being.
  • Alisa DiCaprio, Head of Trade and Supply Chain at R3. R3 is an enterprise blockchain software firm working with more than 300 members and partners across multiple industries to develop on Corda, its open-source blockchain platform.
  • Mark Dowd, Executive Director at Smart Cities Lab. A city-facing non-profit focused on how technology, innovation, and data can be potent tools in solving challenges related to the intersection of mobility and equity.
  • John Ellis, Consultant CTT at LADOT and Founder at Ellis & Associates. LADOT and Ellis Associates collaborate to deliver a safe, livable, and well-run transportation system in the city and region.
  • Georgios Fontaras, Researcher at the European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC). As the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, the JRC supports EU policies with independent scientific evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
  • Sanshiro Fukao, Sr. Auto Analyst at the Hamagin Research Institute. A subsidiary of the Bank of Yokohama in Japan that works on consulting businesses, conducting research surveys, and other information services.
  • Kit Ker, Deputy Director at Enterprise Singapore. Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development as they work with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise.
  • Ryan Klem, Global Executive at Toyota Mobility Foundation. TMF seeks to create a truly mobile society through sharing Toyota’s technology and accumulated knowledge, partnering with others, and using their innovative spirit to build a more joyful mobile society.
  • Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Director and Engineering Professor at USC Viterbi Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things (CCI). CCI is a center at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering engaged in research on technologies related to the internet of things and their application to smart cities.
  • Joe C. Lee, Founder at Kuaidi Group. KuaiDi (快的打车) is the market leader on providing free smart-phone app that helps passengers conveniently get taxi service wherever they are, and whenever they want in China.
  • Zaki Manian, Executive Director at the Trusted IoT Alliance (TIoTA). TIoTA seeks to leverage blockchain infrastructure to secure and scale IoT ecosystems and to enable trust in the data produced by IoT devices.
  • Trent McConaghy, Founder at Ocean Protocol. This organization aims to unlock data, for more equitable outcomes for users of data, using a thoughtful application of both technology and governance.
  • Faris Oweis, Smart City Commissioner at United Nations’ Blockchain for Impact (BFI). BFI is a collaborative convening, advocacy and action platform designed to serve the growing community of conscious leadership reflecting the full breadth of the global blockchain ecosystem as it seeks to engage with leaders from the UN system.
  • Nick Pudar, Senior Lecturer MIT Sloan School of Management and Managing Director at StackView Advisory LLC. StackView Advisory is focused on addressing complex business strategies through applied systems design and analysis.
  • Michael Schutzler, CEO at Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA). WTIA is the unifying voice for the technology community in Washington. They consolidate the power of member companies to solve business problems they can’t solve on their own.
  • Shailesh Sharda, Head of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution India at the World Economic Forum. The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. It engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas

About MOBI
MOBI is a nonprofit foundation formed to accelerate adoption of and to promote standards in blockchain, distributed ledgers, and related technologies for the benefit of the smart cities and mobility industries, consumers, and communities. MOBI and our partners are creating simple, standard, and digital ways of identifying cars, people, and trips, of paying for mobility services, and securely exchanging and monetizing data in ways that preserve property rights and privacy.

MOBI is working with most of the world’s large automakers, smart city initiatives, and many mobility ecosystem players, along with many start-ups, non-profits, governments, transit agencies, and technology companies. We are convinced that by working together we can make mobility services more efficient, affordable, greener, safer and less congested. MOBI is an open, inclusive body that acts as a ‘trusted convener’ and partner to entities in the emerging ecosystem of pay for use, on demand, connected, and increasingly autonomous mobility services. MOBI itself is technology and ledger agnostic.

1 Tsay, S., & Herrmann, V. (2013). Rethinking Urban Mobility: Sustainable Policies for the Century of the City (68 p). Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace